Listen— to your heart knocking in the gallows
of your chest, bewildered & exhausted—
as cavalcades of clouds corral the sky
deep forest streams whimper
& a cold, cruel chill ferrets
the minds of those we do not understand.
into a cacophony of hate
slay skin, feather, even stone—
& you lie down upon a bed of prayers
turn, turn & turn
distant, delicate, broken.
Had you wings they would not fly
covers they would not warm.
There is no East.
Scent of wind sometimes takes you
home, more often leaves you lost.
Listen— your knocking heart, bruised & clamoring wildly,
is seeking some instruction.
As your gaze trawls the sky— listen.
As you bend, become the meadow— listen.
When you balance mercury & fire
wrestle angel’s veil of death & fan the flames
of ghost fires left behind— listen.
A tide arrives to wake you.
You for whom light drops to shadow at your feet
for whom sleep slips endlessly away
& stories left behind leave you inert, belly up—
There is a currach waiting, rocking softly
in the dark, to paddle you, slow
& steady, with oak oars carved of kindness
through mind’s invisible cloak that wills its work upon you—
for you have dreamed
a world of light a million times.
Lindsay Rockwell is poet-in-residence for the Episcopal Church of Connecticut as well as host for their Poetry and Social Justice Dialogue series. She has been published, or is forthcoming in, Connecticut River Review, Amethyst Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Sky Island Journal among others. She won first prize in the October Project Poetry Contest, 2020, and the 81st Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman’s Voice, 2021. Lindsay’s new collection, GHOST FIRES, will be forthcoming from Main Street Rag spring/summer 2023. Lindsay also holds a Master of Dance and Choreography from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is an oncologist.