Photo by Felix Mittermeier on

What is more optimistic than a maple tree?

Who else produces a myriad of mini-helicopter children

only one of which might—possibly—take root?


What is more reassuring than a river?

Its destination fixed, conversing with itself

and anyone else who cares to listen,

always, always running to the sea.


What is more adaptable than poison ivy?

Who else appears in so many guises?

Masquerading as a vine, it climbs

toward the light.

At ground level, it sends runners in all directions,

covering an area

the size of a car, two cars, a parking lot.

It says, go on, touch me.  I dare you.


In the dream, I had two black snakes in a box.

They pushed off the lid,

so I took them into my hands.

Oh, the feel of the smooth, cool scales

coiling around my wrists,

sliding through my fingers.

I took them under the maple tree

and let them go.

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