The Meadow Views: Sword and Symbolic History

When skirted by a river’s confluence,
              a mountain range, or other natural boundary,
              a meadow is an optimal gathering place; lush cradle
              with its own established treaty rites
              of diplomacy and abundance.

The word meadow’s English etymology
              precedes the dissolution of the monasteries
              and the routine cadastral measurement of land.
              So it leaves a soft cast in the throat,
              a taste of Edenic green in its syllables.

Meadow is a woven basket
              pressed under epochal currents,
              reaping old arrows of hunger,
              sifting hard mineral traces of appetite.

A gang of fifty elk saunter
              the leeward edge as one body;
              the last of the light hemming
              across mountain crowns.

The elk press, slow and deliberate,
              until the meadow is defined,
              a rippling frontier
              between their calves
              hidden in the marsh grass
              and me, walking slowly backwards,
              pulses thudding across
              the ridges of my fists.

To conceptualize the words
              of faith, I was taught to
              hold a phantom sword
              in my hand and study the verses
              by its points.

An allegory of conquest
              so simple a child
              can understand it.
              Is there a sin to avoid?
              Is there a promise to believe?
              Is there an example to follow?
              Is there a command to obey?

Many perceive heaven
              in the form of a meadow. The path of righteousness
              is carpeted with violet flowers. The open
              field symbolizes doctrine; faith is grasses.

I am too close, and have forgotten
              that I am a stranger here.
              Ochre ripples of hair
              crest on the nearest elk.

The crown of my head
              is the blade tip pointing
              to the dark opal of sky:
              What can be inferred about the divine?
More Poems by Laura Da’