by Lynn Glicklich Cohen
To be deft means unleashing
shackles of technique into a
swarm of skill, pure
abandonment of steps; you
lift off into air, a winged
pilot of your own mind,
coasting, held aloft by
brain cells with advanced degrees,
translating languages long gone,
calling out messages from the dead.
This is freedom: to stare into
darkness and see the flashes,
understand patterns before
they emerge; to relinquish
predictions in spite of evidence.
I have no 5-year plan; today
presents pressure enough to
catch thought in its incessancy,
to negotiate hostage deals
from inside my head—mostly a laughing
matter for the pirates—and decode
drumbeats heard from across
valleys. They all sound like warnings,
but those ecstatic, thrumming hands
might be announcing the birth
of a child, newest member of the
tribe, who will carry on the ways.
Whose ways am I living out
in my ceremonially deprived
existence? My people left
home, inhospitable to their kind,
for a hunch that anything
would be better than it, and
here I am, a common sparrow, who
knows how to fly with
no idea how it learned.
Lynn Glicklich Cohen lives in Milwaukee, WI, where she write poems, plays the cello, feeds birds, walks her dog, and forever hopes for the best.