Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Somewhere Else

It is here on this ridge 
exposed to the orange dusk 
of mountain autumn 
that the story begins. 

Buck wood for the stove 
feel the heat of shoulder to tendon 
greet the mule deer 
and water the garden again. 

In rhythm, with song 
when the ax begins to blend with wind
carry on to warmer days 
on the river’s open banks 
where the fervor of healing is found in water. 
Flow from one origin to another--
there is never a place where we cannot begin 
where the current is ancient, the wind is young 
teaching each other like the ax and the wood. 

Carve a place for dignity 
plant a seed and pray for rain 
for sun 
for understanding outside your self. 

There will come a day when they say: 
who do you think you are 
and another day will come 
for you to tell. 

On that day the story will appear 
but do not tell of yourself 

tell the story of the staff that blossomed in the desert
or the one about your enemy’s greatest victory

tell the story of somewhere else

Credit


From Somewhere Else by Matthew Shenoda. Copyright © 2005 by Matthew Shenoda. Published by Coffee House Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Author


Matthew Shenoda

Matthew Shenoda is the author of three poetry collections, including Tahrir Suite: Poems (TriQuarterly Books, 2014). He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Date Published: 2005-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/somewhere-else