“PECKINGS”

Dragonflies zig to stay within
the shape of my walking shadow.
The sun is at my back,
branding me
by the collar of my
Hanes t-shirt.
I stop a moment
to lift my limbs
and eye the insects
scurry within these
lanky canals.
I clap my hands and
I am an archway
of flittering wings.
The life inside my living shadow
escapes my dancing fingers;
out
into branches of an
oak.

Always, I remain
in the limits of a path,
except when I skirt an edge
into wild and fertile growth.
I risk the tick,
trouncing the knee high grass
all so I might pass
one who has journeyed further
than me. There is no passing
lane on trails such as these,
so I must risk the tick
or suffer a slower pace
than I might have set.

Moss stands guard atop memory
to keep what is old
from weathering in the new. I
know these woods; the rings
of wood within these woods,
just as I
know these years; the times
of time within these times;
of carved names; excavations.
I can only shrug at a sap's slow bleed
out
from hollow wounds
caused by so many
insistent peckings;
a sharpened beak's demand
that a memory be remembered
and a time remain a time.

I remain in the limits
of a path I chose,
which has split
more times than I
might have chosen.
Still, I remain;
me and my dragonflies,
my changing shape,
my curling spine.
Still, I remain;
my shadow moving forward,
the sun at my back.
I dare not turn around
without my eyelids down.

narrative poem written on 06-21-2015 by: on mattkane.com
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