Various and Sundry Poetry

what it is to be awake enough

And the geese begin their wild and boisterous honking. It is not a warning. It is a welcome. And now you have arrived at the plateau of wildflowers and a grove of stick-straight trees and there are chairs, the good kind with arms and the backs at just the right angle and the sun is just the right kind of warmth where you know soon a glass of water will feel like a gift and nothing else will be more important than its coolness against the back of your throat and isn't it amazing how there are moments when you can unremember how hard you once worked to locate the smallest pocket of happiness. And now that you've arrived the geese have gone quiet and are lolling about looking like they have no idea what urgency is and you realize that what drives you away from the deep seat of your power is the memory of that ride at the amusement park when you were eight, how excited you were to get on, not realizing the ride was for toddlers, that the little plane only went up or down and how convinced you were there was some button inside you were going to press to make the ride more exciting but inside the carriage the buttons were just stickers and everything that you believed to be true about the little plane became suddenly untrue and you realized this too late, your safety belt already locked in place by the attendant, the track groaning awake and all the airplanes moving impossibly slow, slow and not speeding, the route so stubbornly flat, and the music coming from the loudspeakers overloud and saccharine, and you felt the cruel joke of it, and your foolishness, how your itchy trigger for adventure just got a little too itchy and how you had to sit there, embarrassed for yourself, for the eternity of that ride, and finally, as it came to a stop and your safety belt came off in a click, you bolted out of the carriage and flung yourself into your father's arms and wept into the heart of your shame and innocence. 

Not now. Not anymore. The geese are coming closer, pecking at the grass, the long tube of their neck widening their circumference, and there is barely a wind tilting the canopy and this is the moment you want to remember, and it's not about peace or stillness but what it is to be awake enough to recognize that the body leaning into the chair knows the chair, knows wildflowers, knows the heat that leads to water, knows the stretch of neck to widen the space for nourishment and the invitation to not have to say a word about it all and that a song is being sung just for you and that you are being called to listen.