Natural Interruptions

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Old-Man-Fall-Page.jpg.opt924x792o0,0s924x792When the Old Man fell,
it interrupted all scheduled programs, including Britney’s tenth birthday party,
where I was one minute feeling,
to pin the tail on a donkey, then
waiting, to hear the sound of a pin
falling.

Falling,
like ashes,
ashes
from the sky
in Oregon.

Fifteen years later,
Children are circling
around me,
as if I were campfire;
telling stories of their favorite hikes,
as if they happened yesterday.
I circle around what happened
yesterday.

The air is thick with pride
of place.

When I close my eyes,
I see my place, interrupted
by nature, the freeze and thaw;
and by my own choices,
to leave, to have adventure,
To participate in activities
that exacerbate
the damage.

These might have occurred
several times per year,
until the breaking point;
or in one dramatic season,
but what difference would it make?

I have stopped trying
to look through the smoke,
to forecast, or find answers
to what really happened
or who is to blame.

Instead, I am smelling
for what the present
has to offer,
by way of remembrance.

I remember when the Old Man fell,
how there was pizza and cake, and
how instead of grabbing two, three
or even four slices, like I used to,
I just stuck with one slice of pizza,
and one slice of cake;
because I was afraid.

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