The Diconnect

We could see
Your deepening darkness
As shadow-eyed
You tried to catch a glimpse
Of orange window-light —
The message
That says
Change.

Locked in a
Windowless room,
The voices grew
Too tumultuous
For the signal you sought
To be heard.
We tried everything we knew
To quiet them —
But the sirens
Have a mind of their own.

We were so vain.
Al branches and leaves
Struggling to breathe —
And bricked-in roots
Could not reach.

Needed to go deeper
To find that red vein
Beneath the bedrock
That connects all
To all.
The looked-for beginning,
And the reason why
Our steps always faltered
Into forgetfulness.

But you held on
To what you could not see,
But wanted to touch —
To feel.
You could hear their whispers
Through howling winds.
(Your listening sense
Was always sharp.)

And we did not know why
You kept forgiving us
For being human —
Because we could not forgive
Ourselves.

And in your dark mercy
The voices would soften —
And we would see
That orange light again.
Clear-eyed
We thought we might
Puncture the barriers.
In just that second
Of judgment-free silence,
All of the knots were loosened,
And our hands were free.

Please,
Take this spade.
Dig the hole deeper
This time.
Give us a season
To strengthen our roots.
Then we will find a way
To tap that aquifer.
We will carry you down
On our rough-skinned
Hidden branches.
Together we’ll swim
The river underground.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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