by Kitty Jospé
with a nod to Joy Harjo
Some days you
might think I must
do this, go here, call
there, before wondering, in
what kind of manner? Start a
tune to find the how: the way
you are understands that
inside you is an idea of a you —your
best part, which connects to spirit:
Sun coming out behind clouds will
remind you of this; a kind word will want
you to take it in, then find someone to
give it to. Then you’ll feel its song return.
So simple, your spirit put on human feet:you
never knew why it wandered. Must
you doubt your spirit did this? Call
on people who love you, call in
every ancestor, ask for a
bit of silence, then the way
to welcome back spirit; that
embrace is for your
own falling down self: spirit
does not doubt. It wore your feet and will
understand how much you want
to tend it; see love return.
I repeat differently: start with you:
even if you do not know what corner must
have snagged your spirit, you know how to call
it back. First, you open your heart; look in
deeply, then ask forgiveness for harm done: a
look like that takes time to understand the way
you have harmed. It does not matter that
you have been harmed. Your job is your
welcome, offering a home to your spirit—
so it can stretch out, rest, heal. It will
be happy because you have joined the want
to help others through the dark, understanding to
help requires making room for spirit’s return.
 This poem is inspired by the poem, Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in its Human Feet, by Joy Harjo, our current National Poet Laureate. I borrow one of her lines in it, “You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return” and and line up each word as a Golden Shovel, a poetic form invented by Poet Terrance Hayes. The technique is to space out the borrowed line so each word can be read vertically.
You can listen to Kitty read this poem and others at: Central Casting, a library audio site on SoundCloud.
Kitty Jospé loves facilitating poetry appreciation and collaborations with word, art and music. After years of teaching French, she turned to English, and received her MFA in creative writing in 2009.