James, I Tried Your Arms, But…
… the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning.
James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
When each “What for?” limped my tongue with its frost,
just a few buds, hidden below hard leaves, could
bloom and, visited by a rare bee, ripen into seed.
It took time to see how
discipleship had shackled my soul.
But my mind, fertile, flexible, firmly rooted,
vast as a marsh of bulrushes
and my heart, that wild azalea, splayed open,
pulsing its spicy-tart scent into the breeze,
conversed, considered, resolved to turn
this self-made exile into an immigrant.
My choice: living arms
of bone and flesh. Akido-taught,
I aim to keep my three-point stance:
accepting challenges, I engage
to redirect what was received.
Brigitte Goetze lives in Western Oregon. A retired biologist and angora goat farmer, she now divides her time between writing and fiber work; in either case she spins her own yarns. Her work has been published in print and on the web. Links to recent publications can be found at: brigittegoetzewriter.com.