Monday, March 18, 2024


It’s the road less traveled—
that’s the one I wonder about,
whether I’m daydreaming on dust motes
or sliding into a long shadow

when my thoughts grow dark as November.
Call me Ishmael or a son of light.
It’s the one we all wonder about,
both Adam and Adam’s rib.

My mind always circles back,
calculating vectors, a swell of waves,
the schizophrenic oak growing east and west.
Kisses sweet as pears and plums,

the novel that didn’t work,
the man digging a hole
that turns out to be his grave—
everything proceeds and yet doesn’t.

A leaf falls into the high grass,
trapped and headed for decay.
A wind from nowhere kicks up
and sends it pinwheeling to the stream,

though I couldn’t tell you why,
for I hold no patent on a destiny that breathes.
Suffice to say that the leaf finds a swell of ocean.
Call me Ishmael. I think we all find the sea.

~William Hammett

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