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Seven in the Woods

Am I as old as I am?

Maybe not. Time is a mystery

that can tip us upside down.

Yesterday I was seven in the woods,

a bandage covering my blind eye,

in a bedroll Mother made me

so I could sleep out in the woods

far from people. A garter snake glided by

without noticing me. A chickadee

landed on my bare toe, so light

she wasn’t believable. The night

had been long and the treetops

thick with a trillion stars. Who

was I, half-blind on the forest floor

who was I at age seven? Sixty-eight

years later I can still inhabit that boy’s

body without thinking of the time between.

It is the burden of life to be many ages

without seeing the end of time.


Before I was born I was water.

I thought of this sitting on a blue

chair surrounded by pink, red, white

hollyhocks in the yard in front

of my green studio. There are conclusions

to be drawn but I can’t do it anymore.

Born man, child man, singing man,

dancing man, loving man, old man,

dying man. This is a round river

and we are her fish who become water