The Hermit is not the only way in—
today, I followed the impulse
to go out, cross thresholds & liminal space;
shape a thing with my hands.
What I found were the narratives
sewn in the fabric of living things,
mythologies in the intricacies
of every single inhabitant
of a back yard—pattern recognition
even while digits dug the earth:
The way the river birch endeavored
to slough its own skin; you can’t
grow or be born, again, before
stripped clean; & you can’t
strip him of what no longer serves
without blackening his trunk;
the paving stone, so artificial
& rough, lifted–lifting–to the sky
by yet unseen roots searching
that tomorrow, or something, will give
space to breathe;
or the rock—all forty pounds of that rock—
sleeping beneath roots, old fabric, clay,
tucked deep inside the heart
of the spot meant to shelter
new buds, once planted, like a spite,
like an anger, a poverty consciousness
you forgot, or never knew, still existed inside.
Today, I followed the impulse to go out
but found myself, instead, going in.
The Hermit may hold wisdom like a lantern,
but only wisdom, only light, til his feet find return
to the road.