and i let the fish go poem art great mother and new father conference

And I Let the Fish Go
A poem by Abbot Cuttler

When certain emotions show up I find
it is best to dismiss them as if
they are careful vassals entering the court

of my body, and I their lord. Of course
they are not and, of course, it is I
who bow to them, if I allow them

in. The mind is tyrant of the realm
and denial stretches far to the north
where culture has not smoothed

the jagged manners of those recalcitrant
villagers, so I can go on pretending. Just
the other day when anger… or was it

irritation?… came in, I curbed her surly
tongue with a necessary trip to the convenience
store. Later you said that the time we find

we are just gazing, not thinking, is crucial.
We have to allow the brain time, or
allow the brain to allow the soul,

in her dark dress of feeling, time
to string pearls from the oyster’s soft
life as a necklace that lies across throat

and collarbone. I don’t know why certain
plans feel suddenly like the wrong address
and I’m left at another door hand poised

and the air all around filling with salt. I’ll call
when all this settles down. Surely I can
find a phone on the corner of where I am.

 

Copyright © Abbot Cutler. All rights reserved.

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