blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
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Meditation at Main Brook

Last night, the horned owl called from the pine grove, questioning.

Morning, I have
come to stand long hours where a lace of ice melts at the lip of the brook,

where flow
remakes form, and the dark is felt as shadow in the shrift of light.

Who sighs from far away? Roethke asked.

Just so, I listen. Just so, I listened as, over time, my mother’s sentences
shortened. A noun, I remember,

would fall away, a ripened ________.

A verb might melt into puzzlement, or gesture.

The mockingbird, she said, how I ______ , and her hands
would fall into her lap,

palms upward as she offered me air
that silently echoed the lengthening gist of the song she loved.

Until, at last, what was left?

Who can say? calls the owl.
                                            One becomes the word that falls away.  end

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