Root Of This Root Jonathan Dowdle Poetry

local_library Root Of This Root

by Jonathan Dowdle

Published in Issue No. 270 ~ November, 2019

I have had to learn that I cannot

Give you an answer, but only an opportunity

To live into your answer; these are the roads I cross,

Taking your stories within me

Like holy relics, like books which try to gather dust,

Books which I clean, thoroughly with every dawn

Always sitting in silence, to read a few more pages.


To try to understand you is always

To go further than this, to try to walk

Through the blood of you; to try to see how

The world takes shape in your hands,

To try to understand all the traffic

That speaks in the spaces of each word,

To try to understand all the traffic

That moves behind your eyes.


I never tie you to but one symbol; your phrases

Keep growing, spilling out over your skin,

Taking shapes around the face of the clock,

Woven by the hours; caught between two hands,

Your body is always another body;

It seems I will always settle into listening

As a means of re-discovering

Who you are becoming.


I have learned that I cannot give you an answer,

I can only be the road between you and myself;

I can only be the open door

That you have the choice to keep walking through;

It is raining now, and I know better than to tell you

That you might need shelter; but the table is set,

The food is warm. You may gather into comfort,

If you are seeking comfort, or walk through the pain,

If you must walk through the pain;

I cannot give the answer to you;

You must choose the hours that create you.

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Jonathan Douglas Dowdle was born in Nashua, NH and has traveled throughout the US, he currently resides in South Carolina. Previous works have appeared or are appearing in: Hobo Camp Review, 322 Review, The Right Place At The Right Time, Blue Hour Review, Whimperbang, The Midnight Boutique, After The Pause, and The Big Windows Review.