after Mary Oliver’s In Blackwater Woods
I love this world
as I do my daughter at bedtime –
skinned knees from sprinting
before she shutters her eyelids.
I tauten the blanket to her chin,
the years assembling from zero to now.
Her supple, puny hands in my rough palms.
A delicate whole thing
embraced by one’s splintering.
I don’t pray
with words. I sit inside this reverie,
flesh, breath, fissures
& the slivers of light passing through
will one day cease
to exist. I only have this
pause that saves me.
This was first published in phoebe on May 15, 2023.