Thursday, April 3, 2014


Photo: (c) Barbara Melton

I wonder,

What do the wild geese, looking down, think of us as they
V northward in raucous skeins at winter’s close?

And, what are they saying?

And, why have I not yet learned the vocabulary of passing geese
after so many years of backs and forths?

And, what good is a romantic notion if no one ever gets kissed?

It feels something like that, don’t you think?
The wild invites fullness and emptiness 
     in the same casual breath.

I have been wild. My soul remembers 
     the intuitively tenuous sound of that vow.
Being of the wild requires that we pledge 
     ourselves to authenticity:

A muskrat agrees to be an oily-haired muskrat.
The praying mantis dedicates its two front legs
     to grabbing and holding and worshiping,
And, a bird says, "yes," to being whatever species 
     of bird laid the egg that it pipped out of, 
one "it-must-be-now" peck at a time, 
on that first day of its life.

You must not waiver or doubt your destiny, 
for everything else is depending on you to keep your agreement. 
To show up. To do what it is you do. And, generally speaking,
that will include dying to something bigger than yourself.

Yes, I wonder,

what the wild geese think of us as they V northward
in raucous skeins at Winter’s close.

Perhaps they say to each other:

“See, down there, the footprints upon the land?

This is what it looks like when a species breaks the promise.”

And, meanwhile, here we are, looking up and thinking:

“Oh, a flock of geese!

Oh, how wonderful it must be to be wild and free.”

© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Conversations with Mary"
To be published by Talking Waters Press
Many thanks to Barbara Melton for the beautiful greater snow goose photo!

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