As I Am My Witness

Maybe I'll sit here for hours just listening to the dog bark
And believing in myself, trusting as I speak
In the ease with which my words begin
To convince me that I mean them, and believing in my belief
As only a barking dog believes, from the depths
Of his convictions, by digging a loud hole
In the silence that surrounds him, and dropping
His own being in, bone by barking bone.
And then I'll set my pipe down, and be like the rooted tree
That makes of its windblown swaying the act
Of sweeping aside all doubt; standing alone
In a space that I've cleared, I'll be the tree
Rooted in anger at the harm that I've done,
Through words to myself that were another's,
To others through acts that were my own.
As I am my witness, I will one day swear an oath
In which my own hard words will tell the truth
How much they trust me, and the truth will place its hand
On the words I use to speak it, raising an arm
I'll swear is my arm, filled as it is
With my own bones.

As I see myself now, as I see just what I've done
To the silence I gave my word to, there is a cry that sounds like grief
Digging for its lungs inside me, clawing a hole
In the depths of my language the size of a fist
That it pounds on my chest in anger,
In disbelief, in rectitude. One day as the tall trees sway
In the wind that makes the dog bark, a cry
That grips my chest will breathe the truth
Until I've choked it; as I am my witness,
I will make this cry my oath.

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