After months of chin-on-chest,
shoes scuffed on frozen hillside tracks,
day-lit window dulled to lantern glow,
papered frame-to-frame with pages
from penitential psalms,
horizons contracted to the height of a man,

how do you choose
the moment to uncrick your neck,
to lift your head’s dead weight,
you now unguarded, raw again and open to it all,
to take the sudden world in whole,
and hope your heart will hold?

And what if you squander it,
look up a second too soon,
attention and intention stolen by a dog’s name
shouted in the valley below,
a branch brought down by its dry age,
your heart’s own stammer.

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