When the weight comes down like an iron sleeve,
When your ribcage turns to lead,
And your heart is a trapped bird,
You steal outside and the darkness
Holds you in its lush embrace.
Your feet test for balance
Along the shoulder of the hill
Until you come to a flat spread of ground.
You are too full of words,
Crowded with the names of things
Instead of what they are.
You pull your robe tighter
And the thoughts throng
Inside your head,
Reeling and staggering.
Around you the calls of night birds
Answer the scrape-scrape of the frog’s song,
While fir and maple spread their arms
To praise the sky.
It is the sweet hum of the dusky earth
That draws you down
Until you are stretched out,
Cradled: hips, spine, neck, head.
And above you—the sky!
It stretches beyond and beyond,
Star-thick, a crowd of planets and constellations,
The streak of a sudden meteor.
You want to fall into the sky,
To let it drink you like water.
You want to stay until your ribs spring open
And you are swept clean of every word and plan.
You untie your robe and slide your arms free.
The night caresses your bare skin.
The stars gaze at you.
You let the sky fill you up
Until it sings inside your bones.
When you return to your bed,
To the four walls of your room
You carry the sky with you,
A tiny, hidden seed.
|Animated .gif from Australian Spaceguard Survey|
©2011 Katherine Grace Bond