in a clearing


I have had the privilege of spending a few days doing nothing but practicing friendship with a group of men who care deeply for one another. This poem grew out of the observations of one of them as we sat on the porch together after dinner last night.

in a clearing

the room held silence
save the sound of men
clearing their throats
but I would be remiss
to say the silence

was broken by their
wordless utterances
nor was it interrupted
the sound accompanied
the silence as we sat
alongside one another

to clear is to free
from obstruction
which begs these

what lies behind the clearing?
what is struggling to surface?
what has been left unsaid?
what blockage keeps returning?
what wisdom yearns to awaken?
what lament? what joy?
what wants to be given?

we sat silently in a room
save the sound of us
clearing our throats
guttural gestures of grace
of solidarity and friendship

speak if you must
but for now
let us sit
silently together
in a clearing


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