Yesterday, to save time, I took the E-line bus which runs through the non-Amazon side of Seattle. It is a route which usually leaves me depleted of psychic energy. However, this time the E-Line gifted me with the blessed ordinariness of life. It was a holiday and folks were basking in their liminal time. Gentle smiles graced the faces of the poorest of the poor. An aging woman who still walked well gave her seat to an aging man who no longer walked well. I was unaware of my need to see ordinary folks going about their lives with courage and joy. Today this poem emerged.
Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/349447/ by Eugenia
Really, I am truly grateful for Seattle rain, especially as I see reports about places where people are suffering from much more adverse weather conditions; however, winter can wear thin, can’t it?
This lovely poem from Marge Piercy picked me up. I hope it does the same for you today.
The butt of winter
The city lies grey and sopping like a dead rat
under the slow oily rain.
Between the lower east side tenements
the sky is a snotty handkerchief.
The garbage of poor living slimes the streets.
You lie on your bed and think soon it will be hot and violent,
then it will be cold and mean.
You say you feel as empty as a popbottle in the street.
You say you feel full of cold water standing like an old horse trough.
The clock ticks, somewhat wrong, the walls crack their dry knuckles.
Work is only other rooms where people cough,
only the typewriter clucking like a wrong clock.
Nobody will turn the soiled water into wine,
nobody will shout cold Lazarus alive but you.
You are your own magician.
Stretch out your hand, stretch out your hand and look:
each finger is a snake of energy, a gaggle of craning necks.
Each electric finger conducts the world.
Each finger is a bud’s eye opening.
Each finger is a vulnerable weapon.
The sun is floating in your belly like a fish.
Light creaks in your bones.
You are sleeping with your tail in your mouth.
Unclench your hands and look.
Nothing is given us but each other.
We have nothing to give but ourselves.
We have nothing to take but the time that drips,
drips anyhow leaving a brown stain.
Open your eyes and your belly.
Let the sun rise into your chest and burn your throat,
stretch out your hands and tear the gauzy rain
that your world can be born from you
screaming and red.
by Marge Piercy in Circles on the Water
Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/u/pixabay/