To move in my world as among trees
to belong as a shadow, an aster,
a fern, a moldering stick; to lumber
among still bodies but remain
a part of the whole, to be large
but not repugnant, horizontal
when others are vertical —
hickory, birch, blackgum, pine,
the passage of sunlight along the forest floor,
wind turning leaves like pages —
when the hulks of two deer pass through
what precedes, what follows,
is the message in disturbance.
Deer-quiet of the morning woods
dark center lit from within
sunlight girdling a single trunk like a Maypole.
Asters burst white and weedy,
a fir bends low to trap its
few moments of frank illumination.
To live in fitful light
to live as partnered to darkness
to burst and to recede,
humus-deep and layered,
intricate patchwork that stubbles
and shifts with the laboring sun,
the rhythm of humility
basal code of ferment, formation
toadstool, bark, tassels of milkweed,
the rustle beneath.
Aimée Sands’s second manuscript, Signatories in a Darkened Field, was a semi-finalist for the Tupelo Press 2018 Dorset Prize. Her first collection The Green-go Turn of Telling was published by Salmon Poetry, Ltd. in 2012. Individual poems from these collections have appeared in FIELD, Missouri Review Online, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Ireland, Salamander, Saranac Review, Poet Lore, Measure, and other literary journals. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is a Co-Director of the Brookline Poetry Series, a 19-year old Boston area venue. She teaches writing at Harvard Business School and Bentley University. Previously, she was an Emmy Award-winning reporter and documentary producer for WGBH Radio and Television in Boston.