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Showing posts from February, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress

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by Ken Ireland





Will my heart ever warm to these foreign gods? No matter that we shaved our heads for awhile. No matter that we wore socks that felt more like gloves than the fingerless mittens that mother stuffed our hands into when the pond froze over. There is still some mystery the heart cannot speak.

Sometimes I feel as if I've been snowed into that one room school my grandpa talked of, huddled around the stove, a gang of kids jostling for attention like best grades, playing with tongue tangled words in a Sanskrit yeshiva, parsing phrases as cold as Tibetan snow. I aim for the precision of the shovel I used to dig out the family car after the blizzard, cutting square white blocks to toss before the plow. I train my body to own the rhythm of swinging forward, bending down from the hips, throwing my arms towards the ground. It feels like falling.

When the conversation overheats, almost as loud as at auntie's Sunday table before we were hushed, I hear my own voice inflected at the end of sentences,