We were all babies.
Nightcrawling through hometowns,
Smoke filling our lungs and mirrors our greatest fear.
Selling brains for the chance to fly.
I was a coyote.
Scrounging in a pack perpetually licking wounds.
I slept until the night, ran from the sound of my own echoing footsteps.
Only quieted by the droning of the highway.
A blindly optimistic runt,
From a litter to afraid to look up.
Then a chance encounter,
a book sold over garage sale counter.
Taught me to build a ladder,
With parts bought in a secondhand bookstore.
And when I fell off,
Pages curled under
to save my wonder.
To climb the giants back,
I then built a stairway
Out of yawning bookshelves,
That taught me what to say
If I met myself.
My own two hands,
My feet and fingers,
Cross mountain passes.
And can catch me when I fall.
In the darkness of December
It helps to remember,
When I'm serenaded by tempting songs.
That I can reach where the giants have gone.
While surrounded by whimpering pups in a frozen night
Or babes wailing in fright,
That wisdom means you have this foresight:
Remember the score,
Is a mountain,
When I began scrounging, crawling, and crying on all fours.