as a child, I ambled
through the overgrown pines
spreading rumors into the knots in trees—
because why should they care?
they were just trees.
you can lie to a tree and nobody will berate you
you can lie under a tree and nobody will wake you—
except for the whippoorwills
or the faraway calling of your mother,
standing at the back door, wondering where you have gone off to.
don't wander too far, she always said.
don't go so far that you can't hear me call.
and how far was that? the boundary of an acre,
the all-way stop at the end of the street,
the black edge of the sky?
I could always hear her. even with the duvet
yanked over my ears, and the bedroom door shut,
I heard her calling my name.