Held Steady

Bound corn sits rigid and quiet in fields,
feigning indifference to confinement.
Under shelter, a black crow peers outward
awaiting flight at the end of rain.
We stand with the years composing autumn, eyes
stretched across fields and time, trying to memorize
the shape and feel of all that went before.  Most dreams 
have changed shape to fall away, innards to ashes - 
our small histories set in layers of soap, old 
wood and earth embedded beneath uneven nails.  
By sun and fire, we still tend the things that must
be done to soothe and keep life's insistencies,
working bits of time into braided rawhide bands held
between the fingers of each hand.  With no pattern,
we lay one against another and another, working
fingerprints deep into a single plaiting.

Copyright  Anne Fraser


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