Poems by Angela Jackson

Practicing Patience




Practicing Patience

Think of country roads, dusk and dust.
Think of rivers, flat or wild.
Think of moonlight.
Things that last forever.

Think of quilting.
Think of washing greens.
Think of cleaning chitterlings
ppp with your face turned away
ppp wrinkled up in eager disgust.
ppp Scrape the stink from the lining.
ppp Scrape and pray the stink away.
Think of the curves on the rocking
It is a circle.

Walk winding like a road.
Walk like a river.
Walk like the moonlight.
Walk however long you need for dust to
ppp settle within you.
Walk forever.

Quilt.p Wash greens one leaf at a time.
Clean chitterlings, if you must. Scrape
inside the wrinkle of things.

Sit and rock to the edge of the runner.
Extend.p You are a circle.

From AND ALL THESE ROADS BE LUMINOUS (Northwestern University Press, 1998)