Antietam to Las Vegas

 

We travel the banks of Antietam Creek

by car listening to horrific radio news,

not far from a day in 1862 –

the bloodiest in American military history – fallen

bodies, battles that end in a draw.

 

 

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Ophelia

 

Ophelia was only twenty-two.

They say she drowned in a small brook.

A branch broke and dropped her.

Unlikely – both the branch and the shallow brook.

She was sad. Perhaps, mad.

The brook, to the river, to the sea.

Not death but part of something larger.

Fresh water. Salt.

Doppelgängers

Doppelgängers – someone who looks just like you –

German “double-goer” once ghosts of the living.

This apparition of a living person means,

if seen as yourself, you’re about to die.

I met myself today. I’m still here.

 

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti “How They Met Themselves” (1860-64 circa)

What the tree leaves behind

after many autumns, winters and final fall

is rings – a dendrochronology of  historical context,

environmental conditions, and possible future issues.

Earlywood,  latewood, drought year, wet year, diseases –

no soul, but a body outliving life.

 

tree rings