by Kitty Jospé 

with a nod to Joy Harjo[1]


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.



[1] 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.