Learning To See
Poem By Rachel Dacus
Early morning and I wander out
of a tangled cat's cradle of childhood.
From house to sky the sun unveils a fire path
and I set bare foot in earth's round temple.
Soil and shadow. Swords of flax. A cat moving
through the fronds. Brilliant emptiness
clatters in wind through leaves, naming new
every living thing: first opening.
The cat's delicate nose smells salt on the breeze,
harbor wafting over town. He smells a joke
and smiles, golden eyes turned to mine
as we listen to the music played
On leaves' small keys: another opening.
Heart-distant from the dark windows
and my family's rough dreams, I am safe
in the garden's arms, looking back
Across a million sea-miles.
I lie down eye-level with the ground
and fall into a world of ambling pill bugs.
Tiny as a running ant I wiggle down
Into my loamy crib starred with dew jewels.
Our town just slept through the greatest spectacle
since The Ten Commandments premiered last week.
This dawn all burning bushes.
I lie transfigured in damp grass, wondering
who made this morning and me different.
Summoning my eight years of experience, I decide
to follow Moses and find the god
Who paints roses on the sea,
a big breathing of someone with a throat of silk
slipping glory into air, rattling the loquat tree
as the cat swiftly parts corridors of grass.
Who made my loneliness?
Silence of harbor, sky, grassy hill.
I long for that dazzle up high - hear
a lovely one breathing my name
Articulate and pure in vowels of silence,
consonants of sun and sea.
I want to be fluent in this quiet
with the cat, who sees me seeing
The world's edges flickering bliss and knows
that opening my real eyes makes me one
of his kind. Learning to see, I crouch deeper
in the earth's mother-curves.