Immemorial

That greedy wheedler the aspen 
shakes its golden leaves. In earth,
its shoots snatch another foot.

And a young woman suddenly died, 
quietly, from a quiet well-loved life.
No cause is known. Her eyes 
that flicked like lizards closed.

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We Install a Sump Pump on (What Used To Be) a Holiday (Take 4)

Horsetail is a type of weed; it never tires
Of itself. Make your big hands useful, and un-
Screw this greedy pipe. Second of all,
Habit and opinion failed to teach you;
Holly’s not a weed. Go toss it in the waste
Bin with your pride. They love mechanics,

Angels do. On PBS, they say the past is always
On the move. Well, you’re my engineer;
The past is time’s hypotenuse, right, dear?

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Wildling

Comfortable in the cold,
mist tendrils rising
across morning garden,
dew-dampened boots
dry in the rising wind.
Cracking this year’s journal,
I release pleasure to the river.
Behind a dome of December clouds,
the sun struggles.

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Horizon Views

Ocean to horizon…
land to horizon…
a woman stands
between.

She stares at the distance
and dreams of where
driftwood was born
as its temporary home
snags her shore.

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I Love Trees

Standing tall, resolute in thunderstorms,
blizzards or sunshine, bending in breezes, 

home to squirrels, hummingbirds and
owls. Silent, wonderfully silent in quiet 

majesty, bothering nothing, existing, living 
in due course their destiny without rancor, 

war or bitterness. Who lives here with more 
grace and dignity than trees? Who is it?

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So You Know Who You Are

Never a moment of still air. Memories
a rib-crack and a hard hard way to breathe.

In the living room a dream like an infection
hid beneath the couch covers. I kept my eyes closed

tight. What happens when a past looms against endless sky
spilling cyclones and debris. Whimpers, strings

of saliva, the space between his teeth, her doggy
long tongue. I kept my eyes closed. Displaced wind,

outside squeezing through the crack beneath
a door. What happens when history gasps.

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the still water that runs deep

somewhere on the coastline of my memory, two girls and a slick canoe
glide across a blue puddle, their opposite oars dipping in tandem.

one girl stands and stumbles like a wave overcome,
while the other sits and stares at their watery window.

beneath the girls, liquid glass and undersea sidewalk.
beyond them, a fish’s bones settled at the brink

of a sandbar’s black out. the girls are only canoeing because
the wave-like one is scared of fish, and feels their lips against her feet

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April

the clouds hinted of old bedsheets
left on too long
and then the fog fell clammy
in a downing with the sun
and we were so cold
the wet seemed like wind
and the turns in the road
like twists in a tortured gut
until the steam rose with bravado
from the lonely sugar shack.

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Convalescent

My body the underside
Of a river at night, dark blue water
Strewn with a pinch of stars.
All is quiet now that I’ve lost
The will to fight. All I can conjure up
Is a lonesome silent fish, a gentle splash
Of gold on the face of the moon.
Then all falls backs into the soft,
Watery black. I’m on my back,
And my legs will not move.

All I can do is wait to be reborn.

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Rocket Man

I said my goodbyes, turned back to the shore, stopped trying to find you. It took me awhile, took me a few more pink striped skies, a few more mountains, a few more years. But I found my way, wrested my skin from yours, saved myself from going under. I talk to you still, the way we always talked, close and deep without platitudes or pretense. You know I have forgiven you for all the ways you almost took me with you. You didn’t mean to, never meant for me to get swept into your undertow. You tried to stop it but I was desperate for a reason to fade away.

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