My Voice

by Amy Gordon

My voice with the dancer’s waist
and antique grace always told me
how every cricket creaks before dawn,
how oak trees shed their acorns.

And my voice liked to tell me how worms boast
how they ate through the eyes of Aristotle,
would eat through them books of his, too,
but too much education makes the skin tough, slow
to decompose, you know—but Voice,

I was following the map of your song,
when I stopped listening and began to listen
to judges
adorning the top of a poplar tree.
They kept squawking:
Look at that man’s footprint.
Look at that woman’s stiletto heels,
punctuating whole fields of snow,
You must speak like them.

I walked and walked in a forest, alone.
No bliss in green moss
emerging from white snow because
I lost you, my voice, until you came a-knocking,
at my door saying Let me in—

That was the heart inside my voice,
speaking to me. If you let me in,
you will see lizards, parrots, bromeliads,
Capuchin monkeys, a tribe that has lived undiscovered
for 100 years, and you shall know that all of these, even you,
are faultless.

Oh my voice, I will let you in, and I will follow you,
follow your waltz across the sands of Araby,
or your trek across the high plains of the Himalayas, yes,
this time, I shall follow you.

""Amy Gordon lives and teaches in western Massachusetts. She directs plays with young people and conducts writing workshops. She is the author of numerous books for young adults and children.

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