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Clade Song 10

& after the Power Came Back,

       the great dead circled the serrated
  hills; they tried to remind you
       to breathe. An old rat crawled
under fire-forgotten rocks, it was called
          & pulled to a movable nothing
 packed in the soil, far from the human
       need to heed & heal.  You don’t
 know where to find it now. But a cousin
    of winter hauls the wind inside,
  & you are a student, so you always put
these questions in your phone, especially
   when you feel you shouldn’t cry…

 Stipple the worry, the grief torn,
   the patterns of should & won’t:::
new minutes set in past danger,
  spikelet or callus, you bend & are
     awed & are home. There’s that.
Your human burden varies. Yet the once
boundless freedom you sought even in
        private mostly pulses in your skin
     as seeds between human & non-
human or a slight variation of linked
    auras in the trees or a wild radiance
   of bodies, hunched to begin—

 

 

                        for the students & for M

 
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Brenda Hillman is the author of ten collections of poetry from Wesleyan University Press, including Extra Hidden Life, Among the Days (2018)which won the Northern California Book Award. She has edited and co-translated numerous books, most recently At Your Feet by Ana Cristina Cesar— co-translated with Helen Hillman.   Sobre un dia, en el mundo a collection of Hillman’s work in Spanish, has been translated by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg. She currently serves as a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets, co-directs the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers and teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California.  https://blueflowerarts.com/artist/brenda-hillman/