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Hide and Find

Enormous branches from the trimmed maple,
branches large enough to hide behind,
race in circles around the yard
Red-leaved and carried by wild children deep in
A Game. The rules, apart from all that running,
require calling to each other—
Find me
Help me
And then they do.
And when they do
find each other
the branches shiver in a breeze built of laughing


If it is your wish to, while you exist,
Be lovely —then you choose your
destiny by tiny steps along the way
For example,
these maple leaves from the same tree—
One graces the table, arranged with the last
of the purple mums, an acorn, a heart shaped stone
while another falls
as they do, swept together with many cousins
Raked up by a dad in flannel, a dad chosen
specifically because in a moment
He will be laughing. There—right then
when the children jump into the piled-up leaves
demolishing his effort, scattering their joy.
What maple leaf wouldn’t choose
this spectacular way to go?


inelegant word
for the softest moments—
fall back to sleep with stars
shining on your face your pillow
your peaceful closed eyes
Later, we’ll drink coffee
together and talk only
of how well we slept


Beyond the hedge, this other garden
where we tend the brittle shells of the young
each protected by a fierce spiked tongue
or over there, past the hydrangeas
the rusted thoughts of the old
creaky with fears and forgetting
And what is it we dream, as we
water and weed?
To soften their landings, as they grow
To show them the constancy that
holds them safe like the soil
to turn now and then away
to have someone else pour the tea

Native Artifacts

Over dinner, he tells me
about the lecture he attended
on Native American hunting techniques.
My mind drifts, as it does,
and I find it wandering a grocery store
in Minnesota, where a young native man
talked as he bagged my groceries
I wrote a poem about him.
How curious it is, this world where
now that poem is real
existing as firmly as any bone knife
museum artifact, or lecture on its use,
or artist’s rendition on canvas
All of these—knife, lecture, painting, poem
Created objects, our postcard
to ourselves, our note to the world
that we were here

A Question For The Neighbors

is all news sweeter
pulled from a mailbox draped in
scarlet trumpet vine?


half buried in gravel
mostly gone to road grime and rust
Once a metal bottle cap,
now a message
from the road
a little reminder
of what we’re here to deliver

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