Instructions as Ars Poetica – a poem by Cheryl Slover-Linett

Instructions as Ars Poetica

	after Joy Harjo

To die we open our whole selves 
to that daybreak blaze. We wake and know 			
the bones we ate or snapped or sang 
will live but we will not. We may corner
a cave, crest a peak, breach a fault. Or
we may grieve our years or rail the blow.
Either way as we leave we say to our beloveds:
you who get to stay are blessed. You whom
I’ve loved all my life keep singing that hymn. 
It doesn’t matter who I am or how I’ve
fallen or what I bared. What matters 
is I spark the night for others to cross. 
What matters is that I, too, follow that fire.

Cheryl Slover-Linett (she/her) is a poet based in Santa Fe, NM. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, River Mouth Review and Haiku Journaland she serves on the editorial team at High Desert Journal. In addition to writing, she leads wilderness retreats through Lead Feather, the nature non-profit she founded in 2008, and spends as much time as she can in the high desert mountains of northern New Mexico.

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