The Summons - Lisa Bledsoe

When you are tired and depleted
and have drifted away from the center
of your own spirit

from the strength of your ancestors
the wind over the river
and the green light of the oak
by the kitchen door

Then you must go.

Leave behind your sensible jacket,
the weight of separation,
dread, and bitter certainties.

Leave behind your old choices,
and the wreckage heaped
and hated under the floorboards
of your soul.

The heron will wait by the pond
in a perfection of stillness.

Wild blackberries will droop and glisten
in the late-slanting sun.

Crows will witness your passage
without judgment.

If you ask why
this will lift and gently
carry you back to the breath
of your heart

I cannot tell you.

I only know you must answer
the summons.

When the fear flowing
through your means and marrow
is at flood stage
and your small bone creatures
are in danger
of being swept away

Then you must go.

Leave behind your sturdy boots
and all the people and recitations
you use as shield and armor.

Let your muscular compassion for yourself
for the ones who hurt and disappoint you
for the place that burdens and blesses you
break open the clogged stream
and sweep the weeds and sticks clear.

The window of the sky
will swing wide again.

Muscadines will grow golden
and gravid with seed.

Bees will swarm
and those left behind will
raise a new queen.

If you ask why
the way of growth is
sometimes also a loss

why the habit of the earth
is to flood and freeze
and soundlessly begin again

I cannot tell you.

I only know you must answer
the summons.

Watched by crows and friend to salamanders, Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a hiker, beekeeper and writer living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Although she is a lifelong freelance writer, she just started writing poetry in the spring of 2018. Her first book of poetry, Appalachian Ground, came out in 2019, and her second book, Wolf Laundry, will be out in 2020. She has new poems out or forthcoming in American Writers ReviewThe Main Street Rag, and Jam & Sand, among others. You can find more of her poetry, wild bouquets, hikes, and other encounters with nature on her blog at