healing cannot begin until there is an accurate diagnosis

A lone mourning dove on a wire.

Her coos snap you back into the now.


You leave the grip of your grief for a moment

and a silver wash of light flows in.

It shimmers at the edge of the clouds

and on the tips of the leaves and branches around you.

An attention deeper than you can remember is suddenly present.


A swarm of ants emerging from a small hill at your feet catches your eye.

You think:

This whole planet is the Mother Hill.

We are but ants scurrying to and from our places.


We are but ants scurrying to and from our places.

The studious young woman in the mailroom.

The dishwasher heading to night class — and then to his second job.

A Mexican man faithfully mowing the lawns of the rich for his 14th year —

still unwelcome in this America we’ve allowed ourselves to become.


A cardinal the color of a blood-orange lights upon a branch.

A song explodes from his chest as if it is the last one he will ever sing.


You think:

How perfectly free he is.



We have such a long way to go

before this really is

the land of the free

and the home of the brave.


(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Two Birds / Ouka / Daigo Hanada

image: orange cardinal perching on branch / Randy Fath








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