Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2843. Poetry: What Matters

By Jaime K. Reaser, Wonderment: New and Selected Poems, 2016-2018
Photo: Jaime K. Reaser

What Matters
Somewhere within you there is a love story
longing to find its way into the world.
It wants the tip of your tongue, or
the tip of your pen,
or your finger tips on the keyboard,
or all of these possibilities.

And, the day will come – maybe it is today –
when you have to let it out. When you
have to tell the world, in your own unfamiliar
voice, that a little something once broke your
heart wide open and left you unmercifully
stranded in the life you are living now, an
apprentice to a moment when something caught
your eye, seized your soul, and never let go.
And, everything matters because of it.
How old were you?
Where were you?
What was the form of your betrothed?
Oh, yes, people will stare and adjust themselves
in their chairs, or shift their weight from one
foot to the other if they are standing.
They might offer an uncomfortable silence as
advice because love has become a four-letter
word when spoken in front of an audience.
But, don’t stop.
Life depends on this. This is what matters. This
terrible melancholy of fate that placed a love story
within you. Leave the voices of fear behind, drifting
away across escarpments and surface waters.
Claim this life; this life that you can save. Capture
the memory of what brought you alive. Then. Then.
In that moment when you suddenly became a human
fully inhabiting this place that offers us otherness,
release it into the world: your love story.
I’m going to plead with you, maybe a little, actually
a lot, because this is what matters.
Once upon a time, a toad gave me a reason to live.
And, I’m standing here now because of it.
Because, I came here to tell you a love story.
A story about how falling in love with the
other-than-human world enables us to live out
our humanity.
This is what matters. You are listening.
(c) 2016-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wonderment: New and Selected Poems"
A work in progress
Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser; American toad
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