March 25, 2008


The story reinvents itself
each night around the campfire.
Once in Ireland, for example,
upon a time some terrible storm
left a horse high up in a tree

or if someone lives by the sea,
then a seal. In the highlands,
a goat stands in, regardless
of what each has in common:
always a figure which has lost

its position in the appropriate world,
erased by chance or embellishment.
And when the wind blows through
the treetops, a baby and cradle will fall
out of one version and into another.

This tree could burst into flames
at any moment or be felled by an ax
wishing to carve more of its kind.
The story, though, goes on and on,
unafraid, untouched but changed.

—Allen Braden
previously published in The Bellingham Review

Posted by dwaber at March 25, 2008 01:55 PM