April 5th poem

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Wilderness Ghazal

My grandfather knew and my great-grandfather how to navigate in the woods,
How to find solace in them. I haven't studied the constellations, am still lost in the wilderness.

While the men wandered in the woods with hounds and guns or their own night sky minds,
The women stayed behind and watched the children, that constraint its own wilderness.

And it's true my mother was a feral child, having set fire to the woods that time,
Having run all over town, doing what she wanted within her power, that wilderness.

What was I saying? I've spent a lot of time roaming around there, like that dream,
The black dog by the water's edge, devouring books, vomiting the pages.  Wilderness.

I am named Penn Cooper for my mother's first husband.  When I was eight,
He brought me a swiss army knife, then left again.  I carry the knife with me everywhere,
          prepared for the wilderness.

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