We are like blacksnakes who slither
to the highest barn rafters looking for safe
places to shed our skins. We do it with words,
big tales that make us laugh and cry,
with what’s said and what’s not.
What we choose to remember in life
—no matter how long we hold it hidden
inside or if we tell it and retell it a million
times—will eventually need to be purged.
To be shed like that snake’s skin, a shadow
of our original form. We are like oak trees
letting acorns go in the October wind. We leave
pieces of ourselves for others to find, to hold,
to hide away in pockets until needed, to take
seed in some dark place so we never die.
From Crimes Against Birds (Main Street Rag, 2015)