Saturday, December 09, 2006


The cooling was almost imperceptible
at first, just a slight variation
in temperature, from a rapid boil
to a slow boil.
Then, a simmer.

Soon no bubbles at all,
the molecules slowed,
some steam rose.

A solid layer appeared as a thin skin,
a slight thickening of the liquid,
molten surface less movable than
before, though it still undulated.

The skin thickened and cracked.
Soon there was no heat at all on the surface,
except what came from the sun.
Life began to appear:
weeds and small rodents,
flowers and small trees gave blessed shade.

Now we could build a hut,
hoe and plant food.
We were, at last, able to
sustain ourselves on the land.

I loved the molten days:
the energy, the heat
the fire just beneath
our feet. I knew we
couldn’t walk away :
there was nothing to walk on.

Now we plant and tend,
cook and feed,
build and borrow
and staying close
isn’t a matter of survival.
The making of a family is a complex
thing as the surface cools:
we need work and tools,
we know life depends on us.
In that truth there is an ache,
like sore muscles after weeding.

It is simple, good work,
and necessary.


Ben & Bennie said...

You really SHOULD be published. Wow!

Cynthia Bostwick said...

You're too kind. I loved your post about the N word. You have a good soul.