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Demeter Speaks After a Long Silence


Who are you, gardener?
You dig deeply into me,
into the dark home of the old
woman who is a childless worm,
an imperfect memory of grace.
She recollects everything when you
touch her, grows wings and rises
away from me at last.
You turn the earth of so many
graves: the miller, the bellmaker,
the Mayan who became a doctor,
the many women with fans.
You expose their roots to an air
suddenly made safe for the past,
freeing centuries of vultures
that have been tied like
kites to buried rooftops.
You accomplish all this
without violence.
The blood you bring out of me
is sweet, guileless, ready,
laid open to the sky
with amazing ease.
I who have been angry for so long.
I who have been the barren rock,
the sand sucked dry by cactus,
the wet rot of jungle floors,
the hardened history of continents.
Under your hand I am again
the simplest of soils,
clean, accepting of seed,
throwing up roses that are
thornless and unashamed.
Who are you, gardener?
How long and where have you
wandered to bring me these words
I had almost forgotten,
this life that had almost stopped.


Rosemary Catacalos

Again for the First Time
Wings Press


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