A Blessing
        -- James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness   
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.   
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.   
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me   
And nuzzled my left hand.   
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


If I Stepped Out of My Body

I might not break
into blossom

though I am waiting     now
for the tulip tree

outside this window
to burst free 

from its suffocating bark
and scream

petals pink as 
the meat 

inside a woman's 
bound body --

I hope I shatter instead
into mist

heady cumulous clouds
in air fresh 

as salt and

with starlings

as spring

Suggested soundtrack: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, read by Samuel Jackson

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