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Cover of Alice Walker's ABSOLUTE TRUTH IN THE GOODNESS OF THE EARTH: NEW POEMS
03.21.03
Arts and Culture:
Poems by Alice Walker
More on This Story:
The Snail Is My Power Animal


The Snail Is My Power Animal

While I was visiting the Amazon, a giant snail crawled uphill to lie in the doorway of my tambo (hut) every morning. According to shamanic wisdom, the animal who comes to you at least four times while you are on a medicine quest is your power animal.

That's the thing
About poems
You never know
When
They're going to crawl up
The hill
Stick out their wrinkled
Necks
& rest in your
Front door.

I was just here
Feeling
Overdressed
That I am
Too warm
Yet craving
Hot soup.

Between the
Boiling
Of the soup
& the tasting
Of it
I see my dog
Shift her body
Wondering why we're always
On the road
I see the house
I've made
Substantial
Solid
That I carry on my back
Like a shell.

-Alice Walker

Excerpted from ABSOLUTE TRUST IN THE GOODNESS OF THE EARTH by Alice Walker. Copyright (c) 2003 by Alice Walker. Published by arrangement with The Random House Ballantine Trade Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

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