What If

Given our small pocket of days to fill, what if we went up into that valley

and over that mountain, what if we only told fables about animals,

legends about flowers, what if we joined the wind that defeated an army,

what if our most trusted confidantes were trees and stones and ferns

and we were surrounded on all sides by almost nothing that had a name,

would this be a death by solitude and inconvenience or something else?

I know how to weep for my loved ones and they know how to weep for me,

but who wakes up every day weeping for those places that have not yet been

platted and deeded by survey? Who still says, a thousand years ago,

one morning, I heard this bird, then I followed it and then I disappeared?

J.P. White

J.P. White has published essays, articles, fiction, reviews, interviews and poetry in many places including The Nation, The New Republic, The Gettysburg Review, Agni Review, Catamaran, APR, Salamander, Catamaran, North American Review, Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, Water-Stone, The New York Times, Willow Springs, Crazyhorse, Peripheries, and Poetry (Chicago). White is the author of five books of poems, a novel, Every Boat Turns South, www.jpwhitebooks.net.

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