A Way of Seeing

by Abayomi Animashaun

If at night you enter a forest with a lantern—
Flame, risen and warm against the glass—

And the mast of that ship within you is blown,
Caught, and alive with wind,

Pull your oars in from Reason’s sea.

If later within that lantern,
The flame thins and dies,

Owls from the deck’s dark corners will emerge,
Singing like your dead grandfather,

Playing flutes like his wives,
Drunk and dancing upon the stern.

Abayomi Animashaun’s poems have appeared in 5 AM, African American Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Diode. His book of poems, The Giving of Pears, won the 2008 Hudson Prize and is available through Black Lawrence Press.