By Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison, the great American writer, novelist and poet, died recently at the age of 78. His last book of poems, Dead’s Man Float, was published by Copper Canyon in January of this year. I’m sorry I didn’t know him before now. But I’m going to remedy that failure on my part now. 

 

jim-harrison
December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016

Am I as old as I am?

Maybe not. Time is a mystery

that can tip us upside down.

Yesterday I was seven in the woods,

a bandage covering my blind eye,

in a bedroll Mother made me

so I could sleep out in the woods

far from people. A garter snake glided by

without noticing me. A chickadee

landed on my bare toe, so light

she wasn’t believable. The night

had been long and the treetops

thick with a trillion stars. Who

was I, half-blind on the forest floor

who was I at age seven? Sixty-eight

years later I can still inhabit that boy’s

body without thinking of the time between.

It is the burden of life to be many ages

without seeing the end of time.

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