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HEARTBEATS

by MAI MCGAW (United States)

Issue 1.1    April 2019

On a frosty October morning, I walk to a field

   And lie flat on my back in the dewy grass,

You can hear,

If you listen —

           The birds, singing.

You can smell,

On the breeze: woodsmoke

Beneath this soil

           There is something

Moving like the blood rushing through me

   Pumping

           I know

There is water here, flowing downhill

               Flowing.

If

           I close my eyes,

               I can see the rivers,

Blue veins on a wrinkled hand

                       Lying here

In the dewy grass,

           The raindrops, splashing across my face and

                  When I turn on the faucet in my mind

       I am reciting a sermon

                       In my mind,

I am giving thanks

               For water that flows,

                       Wet and clear.

       I do not forget the memory,

           Not my own, but someone else’s, captured in black ink

Of sand, pouring

               Until it filled the kitchen sink and spilled over

           Onto the tiled floor

               I do not forget the memory — not my own

But someone else’s

              Captured in the pages of a book

Of dry ground,

       And no well for thousands of miles

               I do not forget the memory, not my own

           But someone else’s

                       Of water that blazed

Into burning

Brilliance          when struck

               With

A single match.

                           I do not forget the memory,

           Not my own, but someone else’s

Captured in scribbled letters

                       Of water that betrayed,

       Water that brought illness

                                           not strength.

I give thanks

                   For the water that flows clear and cool

       Just enough and not too much

                       I give thanks for the water

That flows down from mountain springs

                               And tumbles from ever grey skies

To land in the palm of my hand,

           Here in this city,

       We have struck clear blue gold: here we are all kings

                   Collecting treasure in the empty bowl on the back porch.

                               When I was a child, I used to pretend

That the drops on my cheeks were tears

           It made me feel somehow

       Bigger

A part of the mother

                           Beneath my feet, my back as I lie in the grasses

The land which bleeds this water

                   Into our shaking, cupped palms

                           Until we milk her dry

               leaving her with a dusty husk

And broken promises

                           I give thanks for the water.

 

Mai McGaw, 18, has been writing since they were 9 years old and telling stories since they could speak. To them nature is sacred. They firmly believe that the stories we tell have great power and that it is our responsibility to use that power to change the world.

 

#Nature          #Environment