The Roots of Rhythm

(with thanks to Paul Simon on Brigid’s midwinter feast day)
The prompt was to write a poem inspired by a song, and so I did.

Midway between the winter solstice
and the shush of an espresso machine
I stand hypnotized
by the sound of water dripping,
my feet shifting
on sticky linoleum.
The tule fog is seeping in
through the swinging glass doors
patrons are murmuring
latte, lemon, muffin, scone
half-caf, decaf
double shot Americano
cappachino dream.
I nod and I nod,
gaze lazily sailing 
above faces in the crowd.

Then I see Brigid
drifting in to loiter
at the back of the line.
Ireland is trailing 
off her back—
farms, streams,
rock walls,
jagged coastline.

I see her.  I recognize her.

Today is her feast, after all,
and I think, this is the story 
of how we begin to remember.
It begins with Brigid,
goddess and saint.

She is a relentless rhythm
pounding in throat and eardrums,
she is striding
through field and wood, 
arriving now on city streets 

on Imbolc

with just enough magic left
so seeds germinate
frost melts
dawn blooms
like red camellias
in California.

Photo by Joshua Duneebon on Unsplash

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