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I Close A Story

A poem

Photo by GraceHues Photography on Unsplash

I end this story before it begins.

But I can tell you it’s about a nature walk–
my solo hike across the Canadian Shield
far down roads where nobody knows me.

I come across a man
on the side of a trail
looking at maples.

Dancing leaves
of amber and crimson
like a cauldron of magic.

He shows me a sapling
half-broken by the wind.

I wonder out loud
about its past and future.
Will it still grow into a tree?

He tells me none of that matters.
What matters is the cool touch
of wind through its leaves

The stretch of its roots into earth
connecting with those
of its ancestors

I close the story before I know
whether the sapling survives.
Swim to the smallest
of a thousand islands.

The lake supports my body
like a cross-current
as if I were part of its water.

On that tiny rock-island
with two storm-swept pines,
I write a poem
of today.



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