“First Week Wilderness” by Patrick Fox

Winner of the William and Ivy Saylor Prize 2016

She strode from between the pines;

steps bouncing the red, curly hair

around her black frames and a look

that said “stay out of my way.”

 

But you asked my name.

When we clamored up to

taller limbs, it was you

who went first.

 

Fear was not to be found

behind the glasses or the

colorful ink gardens,

flowers etched into skin,

which seemed to move

as you climbed higher,

and higher still, as if

blown by the wind.

 

When the sun caught

your outstretched petals,

blurring them, I thought

I saw a pause.

 

In the brevity of the

moment,

you, glancing out over all

the trees in the wood,

 

and to no one, as if it had

always been to no one:

Watch, look what I can do.

Aren’t you proud?

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