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  • It's a long slog. They delivered a new water heater, but it was too tall and wouldn't fit, so the next one is coming on Monday. Hope it fits. Still digging through sodden boxes. Watched this morning as the trash men hauled away piles of "junk" (stuff that we wanted, but that was ruined.) And one poem a day, I've transcribing the rescued poems. Here's one from yesterday. (Haven't had time to post them all.)
  • Between Your Teeth

    White pine, paper birch, gold thread, partridgeberry.
    Afraid to be wrong, afraid to forget, I chant the names
    of plants I pass. Golden sarsaparilla, poison ivy, yellow
    birch ignite dusky woods with somber radiance.
    Cinnamon fern, sensitive fern, bittersweet.
    Compulsive, you call me, laughing, and I laugh

    back. Laugh, and am afraid. You’re not here to tease me.
    as I test myself against the woods, the botanical world,
    the frailties of memory. Instead, you sustain me, touch me,
    reassure me. Teaberries—wintergreen. A yellow
    basswood leaf drifts down as I bend to pick a berry
    and lay its surprise on your tongue. Every fear is about dying,

    every phobia about wolves
    , you told me once,
    so smilingly. You take a maple petiole between your teeth
    and grin, growling as if to hold back the coming snow.
    Out here, no walls surround us, no door will lock.
    As the first flakes fly, swirled by a rising wind, wolves
    race the blooded track, running hard toward us.

    The howls, though, are mine.
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