Roots

I pull on his stubborn roots
asking for stories,
fingers to ground
I play havoc with a fragile surface
allowing it to elevate again
on the crest of foreign soil.

Who knows if I have understood what
constitutes life, its completeness,
a precise foundation or the testament to birth—
the acceptance of death,
when even the tallest tree
solid in body and pure in soul             can be shed
into fragments, thought of as myth, mystery
history to the Western mind.

Taste the twisted tongue, the perpetual weight
of heavy aromas and wandering eyes
the haters speak of unwanted presence
years in a language the heart does not understand
so many like myself have claimed to be the bridge
have crossed nothing, pulling by the shore
to rescue a drowning man.

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About Kate Houck

Educator. Human. Poet. Seeking truth through experience.
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7 Responses to Roots

  1. JC says:

    This has me thinking, a good thing, especially the second verse.Thanks!

  2. sanberdooboy says:

    being able tell our stories can be so central to our lives. i can’t imagine living for “years in a language the heart does not understand,” but that is reality for some. and is it possible or even ethical to try to rescue them?

    • Kate Houck says:

      I’ve been trying in my work and personal life for years…at least to bridge some of the gaps. Identity is such a complicated thing, though, especially for those torn between two very different cultures.

      Thanks for the thoughtful words.

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