Wild Geese ( After Mary Oliver )
There are no instructions to glean wisdom;
no table of contents directing the living
to their appropriate chapter in life’s manual.
There is only an instinct for survival,
one deeper than holding your breath;
and no one taught you to do that.
In the intimate darkness of womb
you inhaled amniotic fluid
because it sustained your growth,
but no one taught you to do that.
No one taught you to hold your breath
in the birth canal or your first bath;
you just knew you were supposed to.
So why do you try so hard to understand
what cannot be understood by anyone;
knowledge flows in our veins.
All you have to do is listen to the drum
of blood in your ear when submerged
into the still depth of a bath or pond,
where language opens the memory
of being formed already knowing:
You were life’s prayer of becoming—
and its answer all along.