In the Walking.
It will happen like this for many of you, the house suddenly too
much, the garden so full you go out, maybe thinking of the way the earth
gives under your feet, the water makes circles around them if you have
to cross a river, leaves and branches lift up and then brush against you
when you have crossed, these things or the very structure of things, the
making of the hip joint, electrical plots in the heart, thalamus sending
reminders to the moving, you looking up into the still wings of gliding
crows on this day when you know in one second there is the power to give
things new names, so you decide this is not leaving but returning, that
ends are middles or that there are no points, no time, so by the time
you are miles away from leaving it is only the eternal very first moment
of anything, making a pound cake from scratch, moving your hand across
the hem of a new skirt, the slight fear and tremble when a sudden sound
hits your wall, like children throwing the ball against the fire escape
until it rattles like an empty skeleton, the hot shower where you are
alone until the memories step in with you, deep solitude of living
alone, falling to where you are connected with everything, and it
happens, the stepping out, mind full of seeing yourself move out into
the world without difference so you can see every move you make is a
change in the current, the arrangement of patterns under a brush, a
twisted calligrapher's stroke, all these things, walking while the
bones of who you are become roots.
AFAA MICHAEL WEAVER (born Michael S. Weaver) is a poet,
playwright, short fiction writer, freelance journalist, and editor. He
has received NEA and Pew fellowships and has been a Fulbright scholar.
He studies Chinese and translates contemporary Chinese poetry. Afaa
holds an endowed chair at Simmons College in Boston, where he also
convenes an international conference on contemporary Chinese poetry.
University of Pittsburgh Press has just published The Plum Flower Dance:
Poems 1985 to 2005, his tenth collection of poetry.