The squirrel froze, quivering 

and then dashed up a tree

to chitter, loudly 


as you knelt by its meal, or

what remained of it

a mushroom the size of your hand

new, since yesterday

and already marred


and you felt fear

for all new things


for how they, 

like your heart, 

are unsafe in this world


and as you 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 only through 



an exchange safely made

between mushroom

and squirrel


and you 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


to this world.

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