A Cappella

March 7, 2020

She perches you
at the edge of a cliff,
leaves you there,
afraid for your life,
afraid for her life,
in fear of the general
and overwhelming
delicacy of life,
takes you back
to that primordial soup —
the thing
that first crawled
out of the ocean,
leaves you clinging
beneath the lip of a wave,
the underside
of a volcano,
the quivering,
quavering
cloud from which
lightening is about
to strike, leaves you
hanging there, hanging —
about to fall —
it’s over,
you know it,
and then,
in a beat,
she transports you
back to power,
raw and absolute —
the battle cry,
the victory chant,
the will to break
an unbroken horse.
So throaty and brave,
contralto a cappella,
she empowers you
not through words
but by scats,
tells your story
in the lilt
of a wounded note,
your human story,
the tale of undying
millennium,
perpetuation
of the race,
survival
of the fittest —
you —
human only
in form,
but really
the unconscious
fluttering
of a god’s
dreaming eye.
She sings this
into existence —
atom, cell
and DNA strand all –
this magical life.
She sings!
And sunflowers turn
their heads to listen,
and the moon drops
low and early
in the night,
and the voice
settles down
like a boat in the ocean —
faint rain
can still be heard
trailing off,
tapering away,
and you’re in that boat,
anchored by a rope,
at the mercy
of the weather,
but calming,
calmer now,
so still.

Melissa Studdard