this hacked down hemlock, splayed, cracked
giant jack the rippered from her feet,
locks left for slash while toes still grip
rock and loam and clay, slain at the ankles,
clenches my muddy witness fists, having
served first (for me) as landmark, then as shrine,
once as umbrella, even, once as guardian for a
two second, tight-lipped first kiss.
Now, at the end, she retires as teacher,
a wild fine rotting pre-pulp history volume.
See here, the width of this one thumb,
covers all my thread thin years:
twenty five narrow lines clearly document
the time spent blushing hope, sweating danger,
breathing love, fear, anger, and remorse.
I suggest to you, dear wondering stranger:
All we want is nothing, all we know isn’t much,
to be thus eclipsed, and by just a thumb.