St Francis & the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
                                                                  though sometimes it is necessary
                                                                      to reteach a thing its loveliness,
                                                                               to put a hand on its brow
                                                                                                  of the flower
                                                                   and retell it in words and in touch
                                                                                                     it is lovely
                                               until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
                                                                   from the earthen snout all the way
                                 through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
                                             from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
                                                                 down through the great broken heart
                                      to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking & blowing beneath them:
                                                                    the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

                                                                                                                               Galway Kinnell


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