Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2022  Vol. 21  No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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back T.R. HUMMER

Notes in the Margin

At the edge of the woods at the edge of town,
edging sideways toward home, leaning
On my hiking pole, I’m counting the jimsonweeds
that grow along the ditch in front of me
And stop where the shadows start. Behind them
under the canopy sprawl understory plants
Whose names I don’t know. I won’t look them up
In the field guide. For once the names don’t count.
It doesn’t matter how many sentences I read.
I’ve let the pages pile up over so many decades
It’s impossible to remember what I was before.
If I crack my magic hiking staff, it’s just two more
Broken sticks. If I throw my books into deep shade,
the leaves will still break down. What difference
Does it make if the Queen Anne’s lace is hemlock?
I know the forest is still on the same page.  

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