At the Bottom
At the bottom of the well there's a celebration
that all such ended remnants, such well-used skeletons
should so uselessly collide
We make a surprised noise finding each other
in these shamelessly precarious shapes
So we improvise more, thousands of them,
Origamis of the spirit
made easy by what is discarded.
What luck, to be a remnant
of an endlessly provisional idea.
What joy, that death is in my life.
Now I can grow back my arms and legs
in rhythmic spurts of green.
There's an abandon
in the shape of this well;
there's an abandoning wind.
Roberta Werdinger is a poet and essayist living in Ukiah, California, two hours north of San Francisco. A recipient of the Academy of American Poets College Prize, she has published essays in the Redwood Coast Review. From 1995 to 2006 she resided at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm Zen Centers, where she was ordained by Reb Anderson in 2000. She is currently at work on a memoir about these experiences and about growing up as the child of a Holocaust survivor.