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Posts Tagged ‘field’


with a line from Albert Huffstickler, “The Cure”


The oregano escaped the garden
almost twenty years ago
and now it grows in such abundance
I mow it with the rest of the field grass—
oh wild scent of earth and mint,
a feral goodness, an untamable joy.
It always grows back, only more so.
It’s like the memories of you
that now grow so rampant
they help define the field.
I could never contain them
or eradicate them,
nor would I try—not even
the memories that hurt.
I am willing to meet what hurts—
it’s so like oregano. Pungent.
strong, astringent, too much
when encountered alone,
but when blended, it’s a bitterness
that enhances the world.
How strange that what hurts us
can nourish us.
How strange our lives are recast by grief—
a gradual transformation,
ordinary as the field,
natural as a leaf.

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On the day my father begins hospice,
I watch the pronghorn in the field,
marvel as their brown- and white-striped bodies
nearly disappear in the dead grass where
they graze. If only I could camouflage
my father so death can’t find him, so that pain
would never have discovered him.
Tomorrow, my mother and brother and I
will gather around him the way a herd
might gather, circling him as some antelope
circle their young. But death will come.
And we, unable to run fast enough,
unable to hide, will meet it together.
And if I could fight death, would I? Whatever horns
I have are more for ritual than dangerous.
When death arrives, I want to bring
my softest self. I won’t bargain,
but I’ll tell death it’s taking the best of us—
the one who worked hardest to survive.
When death arrives, I want to ask it, Please,
be gentle. He suffered so much already.
I want to tell death, You don’t get all of him.
I carry in me his goodness, his courage.
While I live, he will always be alive in this field.

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Direction

 

 

lost in this meadow

deep in the grass

so easy to think

there is no path—

 

ask the mice

ask the stars

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