April 18, 2013

Thursday Poem - Why We Tell Stories

For Linda Foster

I
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground

and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers

and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery
of dreams, and because we awakened

and learned to speak

2
We sat by the fire in our caves,
and because we were poor, we made up a tale
about a treasure mountain
that would open only for us

and because we were always defeated,
we invented impossible riddles
only we could solve,
monsters only we could kill,
women who could love no one else
and because we had survived
sisters and brothers, daughters and sons,
we discovered bones that rose
from the dark earth and sang
as white birds in the trees

3
Because the story of our life
becomes our life

Because each of us tells
the same story
but tells it differently

and none of us tells it
the same way twice

Because grandmothers looking like spiders
want to enchant the children
and grandfathers need to convince us
what happened happened because of them

and though we listen only
haphazardly, with one ear,
we will begin our story
with the word and

Lisel Mueller

April is National Poetry month, and this is National Poetry Day.  Carry a favorite poem in your pocket today, and recite it, share it with others.  Keep the poetic dream alive.

4 comments:

the wild magnolia said...

captivating.....

Mystic Meandering said...

"Because each us tells the same story, but tells it differently." Yes! Our stories bring us together...

Love your photo! Wow! What a beautiful effect, and amazing affect :) All out stories merge into one story... beautiful...

GreenWhisper said...

beautiful poem :)

i've been thinking about this today...

'...Because the story of our life
becomes our life

Because each of us tells
the same story
but tells it differently

and none of us tells it
the same way twice...'

edgeoftheordinary said...

Thanks so much for sharing this poem again, Cate! This is one of my favourite poems ever and every time I read it, it sends a shiver down my spine. And it is so very true.

Your photo is also gorgeous. I love how it has such a magical look to it.

Heather