“For When People Ask”


For When People Ask


I want a word that means

okay and not okay,

more than that: a word that means

devastated and stunned with joy.

I want the word that says

I feel it all all at once.

The heart is not like a songbird

singing only one note at a time,

more like a Tuvan throat singer

able to sing both a drone

and simultaneously

two or three harmonics high above it—

a sound, the Tuvans say,

that gives the impression

of wind swirling among rocks.

The heart understands swirl,

how the churning of opposite feelings

weaves through us like an insistent breeze

leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,

blesses us with paradox

so we might walk more openly

into this world so rife with devastation,

this world so ripe with joy.


-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer


0 Points