• David Carlson

873: How we lived, and lived, and lived And loved our living. We did not want to let it go.

Day 873: Saturday, August 6, 2022

How we lived, and lived, and lived And loved our living.

We did not want to let it go.



An Ordinary Morning

By Joy Harjo


We left for the park a little later than usual, My old father and I, though We knew the war was on us. Blood hunger Has an endless stomach. I wanted to keep The morning from its mouth. He Needed his walk to soften his joints. And we had a daily appointment with the birds.



New green was peeking from the winter earth. The birds who had not scattered to the forests after The first detonations kept to their early-spring Rituals. Like us, they were beginning to sing Their spring songs and were making new ones.

We could not let war steal everything.

In the park, my old father, hobbled by an older War, by worries over the evil let loose Among us, found joy in watching the children, Feeding the birds, and telling the stories He never tired of—and for us who loved him,


Well, those old stories made a circle Of knowledge and affection.

We bought a loaf of bread. The baker stayed on to help keep the ritual of our lives Fastened into place. Our genealogies of bones Are stacked in the graveyard, and live In the stories we shared this morning, the baker and us.



We will go on, even if there is only one standing In a sea of blood and loss, one who will tell The story of who we were and how we fought For an ordinary morning like this one.

When the earth was beginning to wake From its cold season.



Old father, you tore off a piece of bread For the birds gathered at your feet. They knew to find us here, This park bench, this prayer of blessing For the continuum of living.

The fire took you first, old father. I was stunned. The sun exploded. Then I was gone, following you The way I always did, First with my eyes, then When I learned to toddle:

A bird with breadcrumbs in its beak Fled to the top of the closest Standing tree. My mother, your wife, Was a girl again. Then you left the wedding feast As you walked hand in hand To begin a story.



I was a thought in the shape Of a spring flower Emerging from a blood-soaked earth.

How we lived, and lived, and lived And loved our living.

We did not want to let it go.


Additiona Grace from Dan Vrooman:


Ry Cooder plays the Prodigal Son

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEUIZWyieAk


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