March 30, 2016

The Paths to our Hearts. {Poem}

Beverly Nguyen/Unsplash

I’ve been down these wild paths

so many years ago,
tapping bare toes against each stone,
seeing if they will hold my heart

and my weight of being

I step onto a sun-warmed granite boulder
polished by winter waves of the Mokelumne River,

running wild and free.

Arms open wide,
I balance on the boulder,
and see a white ring has stained the stone,
like a commitment between frigid and fiery,
a marriage of the elements,
that only time can create
like the way
we all eventually notice the lines by our eyes,
a history of laughter,
of loving.

I tap barefoot against another granite boulder,
standing in a momentary stance of stability
along the river’s edge,
where waves are too quick to catch a sense of holding,
so I kneel,

gathering water in my palms
under the heat of summer’s sun.

Ripples bend,

water flows,

skin cools,

holding only droplets pearling down my palm,
as I shake my fingers,
pat them on granite,
where white ring stains the stone.

My wet handprint
curves along the granite,
as if trying to hold up the world,
and I watch as
my fingerprints
one by one
until mica flakes, bits of quartz and feldspar emerge
along the edges of the white ring
under the summer heat of my mother lode

where a part of me is still

running wild and free.


Author: Jessie Wright

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Beverly Nguyen/Unsplash // Romain Toornier/Flickr

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