WINTER WAS HARD

snow up my shin, slow 
through the mile of the forest 

come to where I had cut
branches heavy with leaves

they always used to bother us
on the ends of our walks

dipping and kissing our heads
as we crossed the bridge

something alert near the edge
in a crop of brown weeds

machete stuck handle-first 
buried in the earth

flew out of my hands 
cutting too recklessly

thought I lost it last August
trimming the tree ends

couldn’t hold on—
I was thinking of you

searched through the muck
kneeling in the creekbed

swishing my stick
disturbing the glass

nothing—nothing—
tangle of rotting leaves

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