Weekly Write: “John Muir Sprains his Ankle” by Scott Ferry

John Muir sprains his ankle

I landed oblong on that fawn-shaped round of granite
by the Yosemite Creek, just down the path from my cabin.
Thank God I did not injure myself 20 miles from here
down Bridalveil Creek. But I would have made it back,

by the grace of the elderberry, service berry, wild cherry
and would have had to thump deliberately through
the sage with a numb limb. Reading Emerson
doesn’t help directly with the pain, yet being able

to float upward, distinct from my frame
to list willowy in the black oak and afternoon
scent of incense-cedar, this can be useful.
When I write about light, I don’t know if I am understood,

nor believed. People can see the swollen club
of my naked ankle, people can understand agony,
seeing many thousands slaughtered by this
country tearing at itself, not civil at all. People

can steal, can be stolen from; can hold an infant,
can weep as their mother slides away. But most
cannot comprehend joy and glory to the degree
of breaking, straining the daily thought forms apart

until the capsule cracks. Saint Teresa and I
recline on these sheepskins, listening to God’s
blood run through the cabin floor and the ferns
reach to the light and twine together.

And when the peregrine swings down and sears
its vibrating laugh across the valley the glow
from inside of the white fir stretches into the
air around it and weaves with the glow of elk

of sequoia of raccoon until it bathes the entire
flight with tears. This is too uncomfortable, the weeping.
I have been attempting to describe it in words,
as the letters open like moths and drift

into this same glory, unseen.

Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. In former lives he taught high school and practiced acupuncture. Recent work can be found in Chaleur, Cobalt, Bitter Oleander, and Cultural Weekly, among others. His collection “The only thing that makes sense is to grow” will be published by Moon Tide Press in early 2020. You can read more of his work at HTTPS://FERRYPOETRY.COM

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