The Silver Thread

Afaa Michael Weaver - 1951-
The fern gathers where the water seldom goes
unless the storms swell this world of wise choices,
the loud trickle of clear tongues of the stream
licking the edges of rock, while up ahead a curve
hides tomorrow from our crystal ball, the thing
we are afraid to admit we have, the guarantee
we hide from faith. In the woods our dog is lost
from time to time, until suddenly we hear her paws
inside winter’s death becoming the yearly promise
of new undergrowth, her careless paws that beg
each day for the next bowl of treats, true faith
in what love yields. The rain stops not long after 
it threatens to soak us with cold and chills, the trees
open to the gradual break of blue inside the gray,
turning the clouds naked and white under the sun,
the stream disappears under a bridge made by men
so trucks can crawl back and forth over this road
of dirt with its one row of grass, where our tongues
make a silver thread finding its way past the fear.

More by Afaa Michael Weaver

My Father's Geography

I was parading the Côte d'Azur,
hopping the short trains from Nice to Cannes,
following the maze of streets in Monte Carlo
to the hill that overlooks the ville.
A woman fed me pâté in the afternoon,
calling from her stall to offer me more.
At breakfast I talked in French with an old man
about what he loved about America--the Kennedys.

On the beaches I walked and watched
topless women sunbathe and swim,
loving both home and being so far from it.

At a phone looking to Africa over the Mediterranean,
I called my father, and, missing me, he said,
"You almost home boy.  Go on cross that sea!"

Related Poems

We have no choice in the bodies that hold us

Thing of dirt and water and oxygen marked by thinking
and reacting and a couch
one may or may not be permitted
to sleep on. He may not permit me
to touch him or to take the bone
from his mouth, but he does, and that’s a choice
based on many factors, not the least of which
is his own desire to let me
do these things. How I could ever
think or feel myself more
deserving of a single thing than
this being, whom I call by a name the same way
my parents chose a name for me. The same way my genes
went expressing themselves to make my face exactly
my face. This isn’t special. Or this is special. But it’s one
answer, the same, for us both.