by Diane Jarvenpa
And they come to her,
moving slowly like a thread of notes
across the hill,
to stop at the fence,
stacked up in black and white,
a series of major to minor intervals.
To listen to this person
juggle sounds never heard from birds,
drop and catch a song
better than wind or storm, better than sun
spread on pasture.
They feel it in their bellies,
long draft at a cold spring,
a fizzing and a pop of constellations
moving through their great skulls.
Tiny woman spinning riffs,
a breaking tide of nothing known before.
When she starts to sing a ballad,
they all turn together
and walk away.
Diane Jarvenpa is the author of The Way She Told her Story, The Tender Wild Things and Divining the Landscape—New Rivers Press and swift, bright, drift and Ancient Wonders, The Modern World—Red Dragonfly Press. She has received The Midwest Independent Publishers Association Award and an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a teaching artist with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project MN. As a singer-songwriter performing under the name Diane Jarvi, she has received a McKnight MacPhail performing fellowship and awarded a Minnesota Arts and Cultural Fund grant. dianejarvi.com.