A Quick River in a Green Time

For My Daughter Meg, Graduating From Kent Roosevelt High School
by Maj Ragain

reading by Rufus Lusk

Monarch butterflies find their way,
through days and nights and storms, across the gulf
to winter, sleeping in the dark trees of Mexico.   No map. They know where home is.

Look for your teachers.
They have come a long way to meet you.
An old woman who talks to the wind.
A child who weeps and draws pictures in the dirt.
A beautiful young man, his face painted
in colors you’ve never seen.
The teacher may not be a person,
but a storm that carries away your house,
a blossoming dogwood that walks about while you sleep.

Love and death are wondrous gifts.
Few open them.
Don’t fail to open the gifts.
Your actions are your only
true belongings.
Nothing else is yours.

Be a love dog. Howl for what you love.
Refuse the chain, the fence,
the little house that keeps you
from the rain.  

You are a quick river in a green time,
finding your way to a great sea
that will call to you all your life.
Never forget you begin somewhere
in the mountains, far to the north
where snow and sky join.                                                                     

A Quick River in a Green Time
Oil on Canvas
88 x 36”

Maj Ragain. Clouds Pile Up in the North: New & Selected PoemPress 53, LLC, Winston-Salem, NC, 2017 p. 24