The Roots Must Lead

The roots must lead us further down;
it does no good to taste the fruit
unless we first have knelt in shadows
there among the rotting leaves.

The kneeling first, and then the crawl
along the coursing, mottled bark
that starts to thicken as the trunk
breaks through the soil that gives it life.

Among the worms that churn the muck,
the beetles and the stinging ants:
there where the humus is still moist
and cakes to concrete on our hands

we find the source, the Mother core,
like buried treasure from the deep,
between the fingers of the oak
splayed like a hand clutching the earth.

The grass between your toes, so soft,
gives only hints and subtle clues;
to find the Mother’s hidden love
cast off by culture’s mad distain

requires the digging, dirty knees,
and scratches drawing your own blood;
a desperate scrabble down and down
past patriarchy’s well-kept sod.

Her love is buried, long-forgot;
and proving ourselves worthy, work.
If you would make your half a whole,
man, woman, child: dig deep.

08 MAY 2005

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