I can show you where the old oak lives
but not what dialect is spoken there.
For that, you must sit
and be a friend.
The canyon I fell into
and climbed back out of
is mine, not yours.
The up and the down of it
are well-earned creases
in my palms and around my eyes
like companions on the pilgrimage.
But they are not your ups
Your canyon sings different songs.
Don’t follow me. Don’t
follow me into the silent cave
or over green valleys with falcon eyes.
Follow your own bird in your own sky.
Carve your own cave and grab your ears.
Do you think I alone know the sharp cry
from its beak, or how it flies
with that great soft stretch of wing?
Do you think I know better than you?
If today is not the day
to trust your ancient whispers,