-John 4.1-45 A poem of response and imagination
I imagine, at times, that I am filling a large bucket
with only my words. I keep emptying out
the bucket. But, it never drains. The noonday sun
pulsates into prayer, beads of sweat strung
like a thorns along my forehead. I am alone.
My salt forms a crystal coaster for the water-jug
sitting on the top of my head. Words are funny.
Without a listener, my words keep gathering
in stagnant pools throughout my life. I keep going
and talking at my men: husbands and lovers
who could not hear me. I talk when no one is there.
I talk because talk is cheap and I am poor,
and all I can afford are my words. The rest talk behind
and in front of me. I have descend so far
in their eyes, I will not listen to their vacuous
words any longer. I keep talking. I bath
in empty words—mine and theirs. Then,
Small talk with a stranger changes me.
I hear him. He listens. He knows,
and water of different kind flows.
Suddenly, his words flow through my words.
Others listen to me like never before.
I lead them back to the source, empty
and full of joy.