You know the lines.
A long time ago,
when both people and animals
lived on the earth,
a person could become an animal,
if she wanted to
and, the poet wrote,
that was the time when words were like magic?
We were all shaman, then,
channeling vibrations and empathy.
When we stood,
booted toes in slush, faces to the shining heaven, eyes closed,
winged hearts rising on the heat radiating inside out,
your seven-year-old toes thawed and snow drifts puddled out.
I had that moment once more
this morning walking to the sun,
feeling the hot surge,
toes to fingertips.
We don’t have those moments
so much anymore
because we are so rarely shaman,
though we need to be.
If I were wizard now,
prisoners would be free,
comrades resurrected where they fell,
our wounded would be swift once more.
These might be things are not,
and my diluted magic is less than what
it takes to clean the breakfast wrappers
scattered near the traffic light ahead.