self-portrait.

by Michael King

sketch myself down, roots
dug deep into Indiana
soil, brothers and sisters
fighting invisible
bad guys in the backyard,
whisking through cornfields
as fast as our legs would
carry us

etched into my sides are
scars and stories, so
careful with my steps
and reckless in my
loving, names carved
down to the muscle,
ancient aches in the
rainfall

and the branches,
deciduous, find them
clinging to yesterday’s
hopes, let them
go, fall free, farewell dances,
empty limbs reaching
in spite of their shivering

poetry

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