#NationalPoetryMonth 2/30

child, i tell you now it was not
the animal blood i was hiding from,
it was the poet in her, the poet and
the terrible stories she could tell.

from “telling our stories”

Today’s read: Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000 by Lucille Clifton

The best day of hiking yet. We only encountered five people total and they were all courteous and respectful of social distancing.

At the end of the hike, we heard some intense yelling. I immediately thought we would run into a group of tech hipsters who had traded in their open work spaces and coffee shop hangouts for the open trails. As we got closer it was clear that the shouting was religious chant. In the back of a hill, a woman was hollering “Señor Dios. ¡Señor Dios!” in rhythmic and desperate chants. Another woman was witness.

Barb asked me if I could make out any of the Spanish. I only had one word, Suplicación. We walked by quickly to be sure not to disturb.

Thinking back, I was being reverent. But I was also scared and hiding. She was the woman Clifton wrote of. Her voice was filled with “animal blood.” I am sure her reason to be calling to her Lord must be both wondrous and terrible.

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