The Bushman’s Medicine Show
Everyday day my god is the same
light that breaks through the trees
and holds the water snakes
that hunt the creek in a moment
of abeyance, a submergence
of their natural demon selves.
Trauma healing is what I’m selling,
a repair to whatever damage
is wrapped around our bones. I believe
in everything. It is in the word.
My fetishes; prayers to god, handmade
from whatever was near: a blue jay
feather, a shiny black stone,
a twisted knot of sassafras root,
two packets of reverent dirt
from my grandmothers’ graves
wrapped in the red from the flag
and dangling off my rearview mirror.
In the beginning the word was god,
and the music thereof. The spirit, believe it
or not, is a laundrymat, the washers humming
to that woman folding clothes from the dryer.
The water we drink has been blessed,
and we have spent hundreds of years
in the accumulation of false facts, a rot
to the magic of the ancestor tree
where I can go to shake a lucky hand.
I have what you need for the proper
offerings, links of iron chain, fresh tangerines,
hand-rolled cigars and silver crosses.
What else have we ever had
that was stronger than a mojo working,
stronger than our faith? All the words
written on the thin pages speak of it.
A joyful noise to praise whatever
done to have you here, a god promise
received at night, maybe a solitary flickering
white candle with a drop of lavender oil
to sweeten the air for song, go to the barn,
blues stacked by the bushels.
Let me put some light on your head,
an old gray fedora, comfortable, warm,
softly pinched and styled in the belief
that with my god word is bond.about the author