(Poem) Roots by Anne Wilkerson Allen

Roots

I don’t understand the languages of the ancestors,
but I hear them speak
to me in birdsong,
communicating through the shapes of leaves,
navigating the patterns of rough bark on the trees,
singing through the waves that lap the stones by my feet.

I did not sit at their fires, but I feel the heat
from bodies moving in shadows –
a cadence of reverence for something greater,
a bliss of awakening to understanding
the ecstasies of union.

I did not know their deities,
but their priestesses dance inside me
to the rhythms of the earth
and the cycles of the moon
every season of my life.

Their blood still courses through me –
their thoughts and loves and fears
the moment of death no different,
the moment of birth still joy –
their language is the blood of my rebirth.

~awa

Anne Wilkerson Allen