Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Day after Mother Died

The Day after Mother Died

Sharp smell from old leaves
brewed with mud and sun-
April fills the woods.

Take me! Let me be a part of you,
let me drift with the breeze
touching each naked branch,
each brown leaf on the hillside.

Take me downstream with the fastest current,
making strands of gray hair on the rocks,
cascading down a mossy stone
following gravity, rushing here,
slowing there into a luscious pool
decked with bubbles.

Take me! I want to obey only the laws of nature.
I want to rise with spring and lie down with autumn.
I want my heart to leap up with the spray of the brook,
with the clatter of ducks taking flight.

I want the hairs on my cheek to feel
the caress of Earth's breath.

I want gratitude to fill my heart
until it aches in my chest
and the feeling runs out from my eyes.

Please take me. Let me know
that I am always your child,
that I can come back
to your arms over and over
until the last great return,
when my atoms enter back
into your lungs and your blood
and I am all yours.

by Ann McNeal

Previously published in Patchwork Journal

Ann McNeal says that she finds consolation and inspiration in nature at all the critical junctures of her life. She recently retired from teaching science at Hampshire College to devote herself to writing and to living larger.

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