“Sometimes writing sits in you
like a wild animal. Maybe
you see its eyes.
Maybe you don’t see it at all,
but the hair on the back of your neck
knows it is there
where the deepest shadows lie.
Often the shadows lie
about what’s hiding in them.
The panther that has stalked you
since you were a child
is old now. No longer wild,
and tired of guarding the treasure
you yourself left behind–
blind and deaf, she will give it all to you
if you just let her go.
But how are you to know
whether the fox on the hill
in the cemetery carries your mother’s name
or is the same fox you saw
crossing your back yard in the snow
unless you put your pen to paper
and use it to release the animal
that hides in the shadow of your hand.”