A portion of the verse play "Flesh is Enough"

Ritual for Letting Go

Place your ear on the trunk of a tree.
Listen for the sap rising at its core.
Note any bird song
laced on the oakwind.
You must be wild.
You must persist.
Run until you are breathless, then
smudge your face with leaves and mud.
Hold your heaving chest and wait
until your sobs relent.
Write his name and place it in a packet,
a sacred pouch you have prepared.

Visualize the beach in Ireland
where you hunted for coral,
the canyon where you kept vigil
over his fever.
Take the pouch and hang it
on a leaf-heavy branch.
Recall the way his arms
grew into sparrow wings
So thin, so frail,
you were afraid to even hold him.

Whirl your body around in circles.
Kiss the wind,
the rough tree bark.
Remember the sound of sap,
rising in him,
in you, the cry in your throat,
as you sing his name to the sky.

Gerard Wozek copyright 2003

This poem was performed as a theatrical narrative in the Lionheart Theatre produced verse play "Flesh Is Enough" at Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago, 1994. It was also published in the magazine "Chiron Review" in Spring 1997. It is also contained in the poetry collection "Dervish" published by Gival Press, 2001.


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