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You, Hagar, waiting for her in the rocker by the window.
Once a file opens, nothing it cannot hold.

Three hours, midday: state minimum.
Three hours, midday: the god and her child deep in the forest.

Wilderness. Years. Shoulders around a shining thing:
board puzzle of locks and hinges. Don’t fucking tell me

what wilderness is, you say. Or won’t say: even these hours
could be taken from you. Wilderness is not one by one all of it taken away.

Or it is. The trees are exhausted
by the voices they have to choose from.

The stories I tell her come from the file: first foods,
the stack of boxes, the quilt. How you called her little bird

and later the forest opened. That was half her life ago.
At two p.m., whatever you were in the middle of

floats to the forest floor. In my family—her third—
she has a sister nearly her twin. They split

whatever’s on the shelf.
Nearly twins, those pairs of photos we’d line up

and gape at through the Viewfinder. The scraggy branches
of a tree in the foreground run out at us as if

they would scratch our eyes out. The plan was to wait
around the edges of another life.

Wait for it to catch fire.



Megan Snyder-Camp is the author of three books of poetry: The Forest of Sure Things (Tupelo), Wintering (Tupelo), and The Gunnywolf (Bear Star). She lives in Seattle.




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