Lifesong

A canopy of words and paper leaves
They all of them fall at once into her breast
Being dyslexic led her to read them backward
And interpret their meaning forward
Deeply into her pillows did she sink
To give thought to a mode of delivery
Something that would make sense to that one person
The one who would lay shoulder to face
And weep the tear that would change her life
But when thought was placed in this task
She found there were far too many words
Far too many letters, far too many
Climb the trees to seek the root
Maybe it will make sense there
Atop the world she was able to look down
Sight to the horizon, unabated
No truth remained hidden, no lie covered
And even though the harvest had come
There were yet words left to be sown
Extending her palm to embrace a passing cloud
A piece she did take from deep inside
Upon it she pressed gently her lips
First a kiss, and then a lick
Looking at it straight, she began to sing
First a subtle humming, then a vocal piece
It wasn’t a song like you’re maybe to hear
Full of structure and notes that come and go
A song that might penetrate your soul
Or one to invoke the memory in you
To an ear, one of ours, it was incomprehensible
A best, a slur of utterance and sound
To an ear, one of the trees, it sang of life
To an ear, one of the wind, it sang of motion
To an ear, one of the water, it sang of rhythm
To an ear, one of the earth, it sang of bounty
To an ear, one of you, it sang of unity
But it was evident that you didn’t understand
And of reason was she quite ignorant
Sing as she might, her voice never carried
Into the places it mattered most
When at song’s end, a single tear did she loose
To descend into your hands and cup it close
But it fell instead to the earth
Next to your feet
On a street at night, surrounded by black
Illuminated by a single street lamp
You stared toward the sky and embraced the snow
Deep inside welled a yearning, a craving, a longing
Outstretched was your tongue to taste the flakes
Instead they landed on your nose
When at last one struck your tongue
Awash, became you, with innate memory
The first felt all too familiar, the second did too
The third started to drift and so did the fourth
The fifth, as it should, sailed you adrift a river
A gently ride, the softest breeze, the bluest water
The greenest trees, the purest grass
It looked to be the craft by brush of a master
For the longest time did the boat coast and sway
Until at last the street returned to you
Two of you saw the same things
Felt the same emotions, ate the same snow
Sailed the same boat, saw the same scenery
As a car passed by, the headlights bring you home
Pushing you in a direction that seems to fit
They and you say it all makes sense
That the righteousness is too obvious
That your children have yet to experience
At least until you give it to them
To hold
To smell
To taste
To hear
To love
To hate
To osmose
To dignify
To educate
And then you hear something in the distance
Your vision is clear and your heart is in tune
And you’re reminded of the snowflake
The single one, out of an infinite lot
That showed you the river and the trees
The colour of the horizon that felt so inviting
That now looks so dismal and distorted
Do you share that with your children?
Or do you share the former?
These people do not tap their feet
They do not read and do not sew
But you decide, instead, to hum a lullaby

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