What keeps us here, knowing we’re going to die?
At ninety-five, Lethean said to know what happens
next. Good enough reason to watch reality TV—
will Nina Flowers ever win?—or go for a walk
and write down I saw the wind’s legerdemain
pull a veil of snow out of thin cold air and disappear
its gauze in one breath, and I saw ice twisted
like plastic bags around bush branches, and ice
stalactites bigger than my arm plunged like spears
into the ground and broken, flung like toppled gods.
Soon all of this will melt away, forever gone,
and reveal underneath another story waiting to be
found, Mama on her hands and knees in the spring
woods, digging in the dead leaves to fold back
the ground, and show me a green triangle of leaf,
a strange budvase of blossom, its small pursed
lips, its purple-freckled brown skin. Nothing said
about my body, you understand, but she did show
me that. There, another story told, twice-told
reason enough to walk around and ask what will
happen next?

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

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