Poem: Green Tara

I used to wonder why
the compassionate one was green
not the floating peridot of the pond
struck by shafts of unearthly light
(as all light is unearthly, coming from a star)

but green as the lawn
as the fir branch
as the moss in hidden places
as the captive houseplant and the free weed

with her hands full of mudra, a silent
recitation of “fear not”
and even the soles of her bare feet so ready
to press into the dirt and spring up and out
as dandelions do with the first warmth

They say each of those 21 forms
red and white, black and blue,
roots in the green one
and she wards us from the nooses we set
for ourselves and frees all caged beings

I used to wonder why she was green
and then I closed my eyes on
an ordinary May morning and heard
the robin’s ordinary trill, the breeze
rustling the grass, the evergreen boughs
and wordless I just knew

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