The squirrel froze, quivering and then dashed up a tree to chitter,
loudly as I knelt by its meal,

or what remained of it, a mushroom, the size of my hand, new
since yesterday and already marred

and I felt fear for all new things, for how they, like my heart,
are unsafe in this world,

and as I stood to leave the squirrel fell silent and the forest, in
the hush, leaned in,

pointing not at any loss but to something given; a form filled with
beginnings released

and through endings, an exchange safely made, between
mushroom and squirrel and I remember

there is more than one way to tell a story, more than one way to
feel safe, more than one way

to give something new to this world.

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