Gathering

Gathering

 

Bodies are together for a sort of picnic

where it is cloudy all morning and it looks like rain

and maybe the hot, humid air

will hold until you are ready to leave

or big black clouds will not suddenly blot out the sun

before the deluge drenches you to the skin…

except really it is no picnic

but more like a reunion of cousins

and everyone hugs everyone else,

you tell them how important they are to you

then go back to not calling for another decade

while knowing that as a group

you depend upon them like brothers

who will bail you out when you are down

after countless times

when mother was out shopping

they had wrestled you to the ground…

except it really is no reunion

but more like shopping at a grocery store

where you have a large cart

that moves down a long narrow aisle

and it holds boxes of cereal and ice cream

but also eggs and lettuce

fragile groceries and firmer ones

that together get along civilly

as long as you move fast

get home before they melt together into a glob

and you don’t know exactly from what tree

the cereal box was made or where the  oats were grown

and don’t really care how the oat got its minerals

even though they were sucked from dirt

and some of that dirt came from cow dung

and  parts of dirt came from space

raining down as dust that survived such heat

that maybe it glowed red in the night sky.

Yes, a gathering like that…

except instead of cereal

it is your heart

and the ice cream is a fist

and they get along with your eyes and ears

long enough for you to run down the aisle

and get home before the heavens burst.

 

Ken Shiovitz

February, 2011