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shape-shifter

by Johanna May



Make yourself into a flower.
grow between the cracks of asphalt
in Karrada, July, 2, 2016
Let the sudden dust storm of violence
hit you right in the stamen.
Spread your leaves--like a mother would
open arms to her broken child,
borrow someone else's stare, just to be there.
Why do you think they flee?
These refugees...
If you are a flower where would you go
if there is war?

Make yourself into a tree,
in a Minneapolis suburb on Falcon Heights,
July 6, 2016.
Stand there sentinel to fear,
on that day articulated by a gun
gripped by what became of us.
If you were a tree and you experienced evil
it made your very bark wish to peel itself
to the roots?
Would you betray your treeness,
and move your stiff branch to hit the devil
with a fruit?

If you are a knife, stay sheathed.
If you are water, fall.
If you are love,

fight.

07/10/2016

Author's Note: ...vines s t r e t c h i n g...to you

Posted on 07/11/2016
Copyright © 2019 Johanna May

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 07/13/16 at 05:33 PM

Sensitive, putting oneself as part of nature watching what humans are doing to each other right now is such an intelligent approach and interesting view point. I love that final challenge. Into my favs.

Posted by Rob Littler on 12/28/18 at 10:58 PM

...and if you are breath
Utter this poem as a mantra
Quickening wisdom's surrounding grace

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