A Language of Lineage


A language of lineage rather than explanation
―Melissa Kwasny

The chut-chut-chirp of a bird outside my window
does not explain the mechanism of bird-sound,
its wings are not a treatise on aeronautics.
Listen
and you will enter day, tree, breath.
You will breathe.
Watch
and be lofted, feathered into sky.
You’ll say to your questioning three-year-old,
‘It’s not so important to know the how
as it is to be the how.’
Then play the pretend-game again.

Do you understand root and worm
or do you, through them, experience not needing
eyes?
A blanket is a path to an ancestor
who held in her hands the gift of wool,
a blanket introduces a lover’s skin,
a piece of soap speaks the language of dawn,
look at your washed hand, it’s the same as
seven AM.

By Grace Marie Grafton

child looking out window at trees


Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poetry, which can be reviewed on Amazon’s site. Grafton_Whimsey_CoverShe lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a redwood tree outside her kitchen door and a native live oak next to her deck. Nearby are red squirrels, raccoons, salamanders, and (never seen) mountain lions. Other of her nature poems can be found in Canary (online), Peacock Journal (online), Third Wednesday, Poecology and The Common Ground Review. Her book, Whimsy, Reticence and Laud: unruly sonnets, is rooted in her love of nature. She has taught for decades with CA Poets in the Schools, frequently taking her grade school students outdoors for their poetry lessons.

Photo of child at window by maximkabb.

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