Lost and Found in the Wild


by Jane Engleman

The deer hide on the dirt is itchy and stiff,
the veiled moon through the roof beams
weak, white. We swig the anemic tea you
handed around the campfire in a hominy can.

I have been in the woods since Christmas.
I was in that storm. I trudged frozen through
a fantasy of a stone fireplace in a ballroom
of Spring-green taffeta and imported cocoa,
chattering companions and politics. Manifesting
gold, while sprawling across the wild and remote.
So, so, so cold I could not feel my dead face.

My hope had been that rescue would be pillows
in a whir, reverberating like a hummingbird.
I could keep my toes. Being found would be
hasty warm comfort of shawls, emergency!,
emergency! disinfected gloves, a shrieking slide
to the temporary nirvana of a bright OR.
No pain. Never ever again being precarious.

My brain is reassembled on a backpack.
My half of your scratchy blanket covers my
shoulders, while snow is flurrying finely
in the remains of a dining room. Sometimes
firelight—yellow snowflakes partying the blues
moves with sleepy fairies–is not enough.

What are we going to do tomorrow?
I can be finally aware of other figures
in a tumble of the logs. Our eyes meet,
mindful and steady. How careful you are.
How grateful, oh, we are, so grateful.


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