Assemblage
Published in

Assemblage

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
today.

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

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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