Jane Mead (August 13, 1958 – September 8, 2019)
I wonder if I will miss the moss
after I fly off as much as I miss it now
just thinking about leaving.
There were stones of many colors.
There were sticks holding both
lichen and moss.
There were red gates with old
There were fields of dry grass
smelling of first rain
then of new mud. There was mud,
and there was the walking,
all the beautiful walking,
and it alone filled me—
the smells, the scratchy grass heads.
All the sleeping under bushes,
once waking to vultures above, peering down
with their bent heads the way they do,
caricatures of interest and curiosity.
Once too a lizard.
Once too a kangaroo rat.
Once too a rat.
They did not say I belonged to them,
but I did.
Whenever the experiment on and of
my life begins to draw to a close
I’ll go back to the place that held me
and be held. It’s O.K. I think
I did what I could. I think
I sang some, I think I held my hand out.