On Being A Mammal Poem by Alla Bozarth

On Being A Mammal

Strawberry Moon
Wild Rose Moon
to begin and end
this month.

On Marmot Road
the tree I love
like me opens
its one good arm
in welcome.

The slow suffering
body wants to go back
to Earth before
all the parts
wear out and so
it leans toward her
body deeply
and I do also: I touch
the tree and remember
a thrill of conviviality:
we are both made of the same
double helix molecular

Sitting still
on the ground
I become a life ladder —
small birds climb
over me on their way
up or down.
They take me
for the base of the tree.

Soon a red fox yawns
in the berry thicket,
beaver shift themselves
from work to play,
and cows lie down
in the sun, their copper
bodies glimmering peace.

A rabbit sniffs
the evening air
approaching and runs
from day’s done
hoofbeats heading
for the barn.

Learning to be myself
from them, I yawn, rest,
sniff and stretch
against the sun, listen
for the honey hunter
to come out of her den
and witness this session
of summer school.

A red dragonfly circles
the red hummingbird
circling a red wildflower.

Nose to nose with a doe,
mammal to mammal we
quietly regard each other.
I tell her how glad I am
to have followed my instincts
here — how doing that more and more
cheers a girl right up.

Sunset moon rises full
and pink over the pink
wild rose and the rose
white mountain cuts a summit
triangle through the middle
of the moon.

We are beings
at the edge of the world.
The world is on the edge
of night. We are called
without exception
to learn more deeply
to love each other.

This poem is from the book, Moving to the Edge of the World by
Alla Renée Bozarth, iUniverse 2000. All rights reserved.

Alla Bozarth

Alla Bozarth

Portland, Oregon
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