Motet: Five Voices

by Julia Johnson

It’s not for you
to recognize as you wander up
the path, a fury of bees
making its way into your shirt collar.

If what you already know
is remembered, in an instant,
is fixed on the brain, then you will
take instructions: Play now the violin, wand on string.

Note how the counting of time
and the door of the hand give you reason
to keep going. How in the birth of these
voices the slow breath keeps breathing.

The fire around the bend holds its heat.

When, over the hill, a tree trunk takes
a dog-head shape visible, your legs stop
before you do. You think you have folded up
on your bed, but you have gone out, into the shadows.