Ghost Limb by Lane Henson

Ghost Limb

From my chest
there is a hand that extends
a hand that opens into the dark
like an eye led by moonlight
that unfolds the dog-eared maps
unrolls the charts across
the table’s worn top
measures the contour lines
the Lake’s bottom
and the sheer cliffs along the shore
navigates the burr oak leaf’s
waxy curves
thumbs agates
hunts the glistening light of geodes
turns over and over again
the milky green sea-glass,
stretches back to the prairie
to horsehair and dust
clutches at that wide sunset
and returns burnt and blind,
drops memories like pins
along the trail
where the black bear might have crossed
joins wind on a high outcropping
swirls my daughters’ hair
crosses the snowy paths
where human tracks disappear
the tracks where the wolf hesitates
and turns away,
that strokes the shape
within driftwood
brushes along the guitar’s strings
like an echo
holds starlight
in a vastness of pines
holds itself aloft above flame
rises as smoke to the canopy
stirs the raven’s wing
falls as a pinecone from
the golden tamarack branch
falls as a muffled voice
a black feather
back to the forest floor.

by Lane Henson

 

Editor’s Note: This poem’s lush imagery invites the reader to cast aside any preoccupation with grammar and instead let the emotional narrative carry you into the woods.

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