My long-ago life rises into lone thoughts
and drifts windblown—too much for me.
— Tu Mu
Honeysuckle greens and spills in the bottom edges
of the woods, buttery petals slicking the light. A bear follows
the fiction of a trail, leaf duff lit and the first violets emerging.
The earliest insect hatches pass over the stream, blue-winged olives
that brook trout devour, betraying themselves with a desperate hunger.
How many new beginnings are we granted? In undisturbed places
rings the northern hemisphere, flower’s pink stripes flaring
like a small fish’s gill plate. Ten autumns ago, hidden
in the field’s tall grasses, my son lay his head in my lap,
looked up at the birds flying south and asked how old the sky was.
We’d risen early to listen to migrating thrushes, to see them
take flight from the trees before they vanished.
I told him they followed the moon’s slivered path, the same
ancient corridor we use when we leave the earth.