Each morning I stir my oats, but first,
some salt to make them bearable,

and there are apples to be sliced,
black tea to burn off the residue of dreams.

The woods still call to remind me I am alive.
So many deaths already. But newness comes:

this year the fiddlehead ferns, the baby flickers
in the tree, the pink gleam inside their mouths.

This year my first wood duck, the sassafras root
I dug and saved to boil, the living cold of water

to tame my hands, and all over my face
the scrub of early morning sun.