Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oops, Missed a Day!

But not really.  I remember that I hadn't yet shared a poem for yesterday, and was already in bed.  I weighed getting out of bed (I'd already gotten up once to have my son check his blood sugar and was going to do that again in a couple of hours, and I'd already turned off the computer) with staying in it.  Then I realised I had my iPod nearby, so I pulled it under the covers and looked for a poem to share before it was too late.

The one I selected was again from Poetry Daily, and I shared it on Facebook.  A wonderful poem written by Tina Chang, entitled "Patriotism," the language is confident and truthful, and isn't worried about getting down into the dirt, looking for new life. 

Here, in keeping with my Lenten promise to myself (to share a poem a day with one person or more) and with links to Poetry Daily and Four Way Books, is the poem:


The village was in tatters, smoking before it spoke,
shrapnel in a lung, a toothache in a guilty mouth.

There's something in the back of my mind I'd like
to remember, rubble there and a shovel for digging.

We stood in the deep muck for years. I wrote
love notes to nurse him back to health. If he dreamed

origami cranes I kept folding this paper inward
and inward until it bloomed and found velocity.

To get inside the earth's black center, I must have tools.
I must be alert and willful. I sat on the ground

to get down deeper, below kneeling, below bowing
and scramble, and boulder. And when you get that low,

you can mount the cry, the zero. What happened
in the marriage between the heart and its territory?

The tools were man-made, the tools worked slowly with labor.
The work was not without toil. When I found him there

face up, I put my mouth to his mouth, exhaled
for many years, my tongue waving like a flag.

Tina Chang

Of Gods & Strangers
Four Way Books

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