“We each only really speak one sentence in our lifetime. That sentence begins with your first words, toddling around the kitchen, and ends with your last words … in a nursing home, the night-duty attendant vaguely on hand. Or, if you are blessed, they are heard by someone who knows you and loves you and will be sorry to hear the sentence end.” - Mary Ruefle
A New Year’s white morning of hard new ice.
High on the frozen branches I saw a squirrel jump and skid.
Is this scary? he seemed to say and glanced
down at me, clutching his branch as it bobbed
in stiff recoil – or is it just that everything sounds wrong today?
He wiped his small cold lips with one hand.
Do you fear the same things as
I fear? I countered, looking up.
His empire of branches slid against the air.
The night of hooks?
The man blade left open on the stair?
Not enough spin on it, said my true love
when he left in our fifth year.
The squirrel bounced down a branch
and caught a peg of tears.
The way to hold on is