Sunday, October 12, 2014

Certainty

Certainty is the Santa Claus of the simple--
an Easter Bunny hiding eggs in the lives and lawns of the lazy--
a bunch of bullshit the nearest Bo Peep could disabuse you of.

The only certainty is that, if you have a heart beat, 
some orange-vested fuck will take aim at it.
The only certainty is that, if you're dream-deep in a delicious mystery,
some jackass will hook his thumbs in his suspenders and start mansplaining.

That is how I ended up out here,
up to my ankles in last year's leaves,
red-haired and savage under a beggar's moon,
giving it up to wolves and wolverines and cranking out cubs in my fragrant den.

I never dreamed of this when I showed up,
teeth brushed and blunted,
at Bryn Mawr orientation.
I smiled and backbit like all the rest,
chucking out manners and affectations like candies from a float.

I never imagined it even after I broke a nail,
totaled the Saab, experimented with heterosexuality,
and ended up in a therapist's office for three weeks.
Here is the problem with her: 

From her mouth came all this junk about healing;
never a word about ouanga bags or magic spells,
no menstrual blood in the herbal tea,
no haint blue spirit possessing her at odd moments.

But I was talking about certainty.
I tried to establish it. I did.
I dragged her ribby husk out into the barrens and waited for the crows.
I wore every talisman bought from every trade show in nine counties,
and kept her head in a jar of Four Thieves Vinegar all winter,

but still, it snowed when it would,
and my own body ached or hungered when it would,
while nothing was ever certain--nor was it meant to be.

So here is what I did.
I hung a mojo hand from an oak branch
and put my trust in br'er badger, the ultimate archetypal hoodoo doctor. 
He doesn't give a shit about certainty, he only wants to eat and fuck and fight.
I was his girl friday,
and the she-skunk's go-to gal as she went quietly through the nights,
taking each exactly as it was given.

Then I went along the creek path,
through the blackberry vines
and down to the Old Road.

I took the back way and slipped silently around the water well.
Just as the sun came up,
I jimmied your door, the one painted blue 
on the back of the white clapboard house where you sleep beneath quilt and care.

I bribed your dogs,
and crossed myself as I passed the candles and icons in the narrow hall.
Were you surprised to see me?
I'm not the girl I used to be, and thank Goddess for that.

I kissed you in the barest gray dawn light,
flinting the flame and praying for the prairie breeze you keep in your sigh.
We turned, like the skies changing dark to light to dark again
until you were on top and I was an aspen shaking with the old magic.

That  is certainty.
The only kind there is.
_______  
    
 written to include words from a list kindly provided by a cloaked figure.                        

     

7 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

my favorite line: praying for the prairie breeze you keep in your sigh

hedgewitch said...

Every kind of black(and white) magick in this one,Shay, and we have to find our healing where we can in this world, even without any certainty that it will work, or working, last. I really love this part: 'That is how I ended up out here,/up to my ankles in last year's leaves,/red-haired and savage under a beggar's moon..'--and all the rest, too, of course.

Mama Zen said...

This feels like certainty. The only kind there is.

Cloudia said...

I could make a jewel encrusted distaff just from the words and phrases you place here like ornaments on an icon cover. . . In what world are you NOT setting oprah straight about a few things?!

Ah shit, THIS world!

You will remain our secret treasure. . . for now. . .



ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3

TALON said...

As always, Shay, your poetry transports me. I've seen a bunch of those orange vests lately and they always make me cringe. Poor unsuspecting creatures!

Sioux said...

It was difficult to choose, but this was my favorite part:

"I jimmied your door, the one painted blue
on the back of the white clapboard house where you sleep beneath quilt and care.

I bribed your dogs,
and crossed myself as I passed the candles and icons in the narrow hall.
Were you surprised to see me?
I'm not the girl I used to be, and thank Goddess for that."

Yes. Thank Goddess for that.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

In the face of certain uncertainty mojo and making love seem like a fine choice.