By Michael Hettich
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Extra resources for A small boat: poems
The cool root- colored water polished our bodies as heavy fish and snakes I imagined pulled back into a forest of roots to watch, and the current coaxed us gently, imperceptibly toward the turquoise sea a hundred miles away. Page 32 Red Feather, Colorado for Colleen Trees pressed up against the snow we walked across. Animals slept below our footprints. When they stirred in their sleep we fell through the crust sometimes to the waist, to the topmost branches of the trees in which frozen birds perched, waiting for the sky to melt.
They don't walk far. We feed them scraps from our dinners, and they grow fat and sleek. They sleep without fear. Their hands will last forever now. Her husband and children noticed nothing. And as she walked she bit her wrists to bleed a trail back home. She walked so far she bit her hands off. She left them in her path, without regrets But just as suddenly they grew back: flowers in the moonlight, shocking her. So she followed the perfume in her new hands, was soon forever lost. She went about her family's lives in the same old way: cooked dinner, tucked them in, read them fairy tales while butterflies and dragonflies, larger than she'd ever seen before, surrounded her, talking their strange Page 42 patter, flattering her.
He landed in front of me, right in my path, sang once and flew up into the oncoming forest I thought until then was suburbs, where I've always lived. Page 45 Fear of Cancer All night you talked old times while the antlers grew. You talked about old friends I'd practiced forgettingand by now had never known. Outside, snow fell, filling everything with emptiness. <><><><><><><><><><><><> In the mountains, a boy climbs a stone wall and walks along it deep into the woods, where he finds a rusted cage hanging from an ancient oak.