Wisdom Worker - Sharon Thompson

I believe
in days of deep pine wilderness,
as cooking stones lower into baskets of thick soup,
there are elders still to seek.
Huts in which to kneel and learn
dreams of smoky revelation,
heartbeats measured on drums of stretched skin.
Someone
with wisdom
given as gift from soul to soul,
understanding, steadfast insight
fortification, even,
against the incongruity of this sense of bleakness
in a life of such lush bounty.

            In myth, if not in flesh,
            a gnarled woman
            stoops with curved awl,
sculpting sides into a graceful oaken bowl.
Laughing at my unrelenting woefulness,
lifting it, hefting its weight easily, scolding,
            “Go swim in the stream
            take some hard, young man to your breast.
Forget your own babies for today.
Rub your mouth with raspberry juice,
dance in the current with your knees high,
laugh.”

But I am no longer a girl with streaming black hair,
out tasting the world.
Almost aged,
I will shift blindly
overlooking shrines, passing prudent ones to query.
Nearing
empty-handed
the threshold of things,
inept, I will gather what I can,
practice my smile as I go.