The North Wind

So polluted by my own complicity
so full of anguish and rage
and disgust and shame
that I could no longer breathe
I called upon the North Wind.

It came, cold and pure,
clearing the sky ahead of it
to shine fiercely blue.

The treetops were swaying and singing
and in that windsong I stood
and opened my coat
and pulled down my shirt front
and invited the wind in
to carve out all the filth.

I scooped with my hands too,
reaching in to clear my eyes
which have seen so much cruelty
my ears
which have heard so much hate
my nose
which has smelled so much pollution
and my mouth
which has tasted so much death.

My throat was completely clogged
and I could no longer speak
so I cleared that out too,
and then the wind and I
worked together on my heart.

Oh, there was so much detritus
and it was rotting without air.

The wind blew hard
the way it does at the top of the mountain
when you can hardly stand
and snow is blowing
over the edge of the peak

I wanted to howl my pain and agitation
but the wind took it and blew it away.
I kept scooping and casting away the muck—
all the piled-on anger all the fear all the rot—
scooping and casting away
scooping and casting away
and all the time the clean wind blew.

Finally I could breathe again.
I could breathe and stand up straight
I could speak and move
and I could do the work I am meant to do.

Then I gave thanks to the wind.