a moment, still

Seven years ago
I lived in the mist and
rain of the Olympic 

Peninsula to walk where
wild things walked and lay
upon the moss though a
spider sunk into my soft

stomach. It only hurt
momentarily, and 
regardless, it is  
never safe to 
be where it seems 
safest, where

would never touch,
waves, could never crash 
in the long
dark of winter-
never the crackling cold
the moment-stilled
heart though

days pass.

Truth is my hair
has been standing on end
since I was born 
from the shock 
I comb it smooth 
and lay across 
another’s shoulder 
like a cloak

and walking again into the quiet
of the Cascades or the Hoh

I will find a big, 
black bear and not 
be reminded how
any moment 
the sky may fall 

like hers did 
and violent, 
she was afraid,
I keep wondering.

I, am sharp flint
of ebon eye facing bear, am
rock of trembling, St. Helens/
could blow could sleep 
instead, for awhile peaceful 
as flowers grow bright 
upon the back. I

think of my tree that is
only memory now,
how Magdalena
strong and twisted

could lean into the cold
and wild storms, how
memory is
the willowy heart/
a captured 
softness to put 
in a box with her 
gray eyes and
my father’s
calloused hands.

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