Old Growth

Today I want to be free of this salt-streaked season,
backward crossovers into years before: airy
afternoons licking the wooden spoon, pouring soft blades
of grass from a shoe, all ways of saying I miss
my mother. I wish I could remember the gentle lilt
of my brother’s early voice. Instead I hear clearly
the dripping of a basalt fountain. What gets saved—

My father fed my sick goldfish a frozen pea and it lived
for another six years. Outside, pears swathed in socks
ripened, protected from birds. Those bulbous
multicolored days, I felt safe before I knew
the word for it. But how to fossilize a feeling, sustain it
in amber? I keep dreaming in reverse until I reach
a quiet expanse of forest. The dragonflies are large
and prehistoric. Mother watches from a distance
as I move wildly, without fear.

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