Another me stands
holds my knees through everything
while I claw my way
Dirt cakes under my nails

The usual cast, so like me, takes
the assigned place
But I’m way ahead

I grab the tined tool
leave a trail not hard to follow

Hair, so personal, wraps and enfolds
I can’t bring myself to cut, though like the trees
it grows back

after it has been washed
and brushed
and braided
and curled
and bound
I have become fond of this hair it turns out

Band saw and exuberance
slice the tree in smooth strokes
with a perfectly matched partner
Stumps litter the landscape

A place to sit
a table for my ginger tea
while I balance the trunk
easy as a peacock feather

I grub, one with trees, among pigs
How did they get here?
My world is inside out
This is not a farm
These are nearly wild. They are like a sneeze
ill-timed, unwanted, but my head is clear

These improbable pigs
when they are cut, bleed
The cry of pigs surrounds me
Blood pools at my feet and flows away
Blood connects and grounds me

I enter the ring with bulls, another non sequitur choose the most fierce
with sharpest horns. Leave the rest
to their flowers in Spain
while I prove myself
against these, the most noble of foes

White cotton panties
undershirt and ankle socks
hide larval form behind a knit veil
from the five and dime

Because this, of course, happened long ago
in the barely remembered past of a child

I have grown so old
I am mistaken for the mother of a friend
and after one tear for youth and one look back
ready, but not really
to embrace them
all of my many selves
and leave them all behind