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I’ve been trying not to live my life
only in response to death. And yet.

Across the world, a bridge collapses
twenty years ago. Cars fall into the sea.

Today, I write a case study.
It’s too late too often

to do anything worth doing. After work,
in the woods behind the house

I step over a fallen tree. The living trees
stand listening. I am small

again. It has always been so.
It might not matter if I believe in time

soon. The trees tell me
I’ll live forever

in darkness, in daylight.
The echo of which is holy.



Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw (Georgia), won the National Poetry Series; her second, Through a Small Ghost (Georgia), won the Georgia Poetry Prize; her third book is I, Divided (LSU). She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Alberta.




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