The medieval physician said it was in the spleen, Chinese medicine diagnoses liver, this leviathan that comes from deep within and threatens the life from which it springs. It moves to kidneys, gallbladder, spreading like an untreated cancer, to the pancreas, to the heart, to the brain. It’s as prevalent as breath, and I am both container and contained. It’s an opportunistic species, this chronic visitor who smells like old fish. And it will kill. Soft things now, and everything eventually. I don’t know how to treat the condition except to distance from the hotbeds, to look for those who are not infected and pray they inject an antidote of empathy in my veins. Or I listen to Deva Premal sing Hindu chants, or I read Mary Oliver, or I walk, walk, walk the roads and the trails and the meadows until I have taken root again in the soft earth of a forgiving mother who is so near the end of her rope that any prodigal’s return is offered the fatted calf of peace, and if I sit on a stump long enough and stare at the water and stay as still as the heron in the distance, I can feel the mending in my spleen. © 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved
Tag: Mary Oliver
I Should Get Out More
(Written on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017)
I should get out more,
Walk the woods like William Wordsworth or Robert Frost or Mary Oliver,
Watch nature more closely,
Learn the names of trees and the songs of birds.
I should feel cold more, or hot.
It won’t kill me.
I should get sand in my shoes
and mosquito bites and poison ivy.
I should walk in the woods more.
I should stand next to water more,
a riverbank, a lakeside, a sea shore.
I should skip more stones
and make more ripples.
I should not be afraid of those who live there,
the frogs, the turtles, the fish.
I should dip my toe in and make friends of the natives.
I should buy a kayak
and change my lifestyle
so that it becomes the kind of lifestyle
conducive to kayaks.
I should pass no sunny hours in candlelit rooms with blinds closed
sitting at a desk writing poetry.
I should take full advantage of beautiful days,
follow roads that short of the decision to take them would remain not taken.
I should choose differently, trading this thing I love for that thing I love.
I should live differently.
I should get out more.