Friday, October 12, 2012

My Encounter with a Fiery Oak

Breathe! She shouted to me
as I walked beneath her canopy
of crimson leaves. Why do you hold
 so greedily to one shallow
 breath of life, refusing to let go?
I know that once upon a time
life taught you to be still,
breathe shallow, play dead or
feign sleep,
a useful survival instinct
for possums, rabbits
and frightened children.
Look! It worked.
here you stand, almost alive.
Breathe! She shouted to me,
take a belly breath
even if you must inhale
the poison with the pure.
Now exhale, empty out your lungs,
spew forth your dragon fire.
Let me take the toxins
of lingering memory and fear
deep into my tangled roots,
reaching for quickened streams
of living water to baptize
every demon’s breath.
I will stand beside you,
we are partners you and I,
breathing in, breathing out,
no fear, no hesitation, no holding back.
You are not a small-voiced child,
a slinking possum,
or a rabbit caught in a hunter’s snare.
You are a woman.
Breathe! She whispered,
a low branch brushing
tender across my cheek,
red leaves
dancing like dervishes
as I breathe autumn’s fiery light.
by Merrill F. 
(c) all rights reserved

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