Assignment

Paul attempts
to assign ownership
to the land
to you,
your neighbors,
the deer,
the turtles,
the mice,
but the land
rejects the assignments.

A red shimmer
forms in the air
before his face
and a sudden remembering
compels Paul
to hear in a sacred manner.

The land informs him
it owns itself
and wears
its spirit
upon its face.
Know that
it is both
the dust
and the ash.

And the wind
that carries crows
and cranes
is the very breath of God
blown through the void
protecting
all living things
from what traverses
its vast expanses.

Altering his assignment
Paul works
to own only himself,
which still includes
his parade of conflicts
and baubles.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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