Poem by Amy Newlove Schroeder
Doubt is the Origin of Wisdom
The mind is a tangle refusing the comb.
It does not want God, it does not want peace, it does
not want to bend with the wind among the leaves.
It is the tree that will not bend, and everyone knows
the tree that will not bend is the tree that breaks. The mind is
a child, a criminal, a madwoman, it is a cat having
a bath. Ornery, convinced, determined, a Victorian girl holding
a gun. Even when it is wrong. Especially when wrong.
The mind wobbles in unholy distribution—first part of the body,
then not—an uncertain lover. She is indiscreet and
carefully appareled. She is brutal. She cannot be
tunneled under—you can only go straight through. Just like love.
What do you want she whispers, self to self, mind to no-mind.
To be like the blue heron in the marshland, the heron
standing on one leg, looking at nothing.
Amy Newlove Schroeder's first book received the Field Prize and was published by Oberlin College Press. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Arts and Letters Commentary, and Field. She teaches writing and ethics in the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC.