Poem In Which Maple Syrup Saves My Life

I let the hairs grow back all over my body and knew
in time the brittle bark would heal. Cracked, flaking
sprigs to my heart, each sleeping, storing starch, in karate
stance. Withholding sweet waters for two winters I purpled
my ankles, lonesome among a hundred and thirty-five acres
of crying trunks. Cut under a sugar moon, they gave way
to tickling tins. Others were gorged – cords linked
by boiled baths. It was the downy breath on my shins that drew me
from relapse, suggesting I soak my tendons in juniper mud, opening
pores on my soles. Here I was impressed by warm paws, whose
leather rounds softened me into late-July. Sucking a backdraught
through raw channels, I drooped. The cascade smothered my roots.
Natalya Anderson


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