tree rings

Sometimes life makes you

pull back, retreat, halt

any forward progress.


I’ve been living my life hoping for

an end to the misery.


Family age and suffer

in distant parts, and we can do

nothing to help.


We grow plump

from lack of movement

and wither in our beings.


I used to trick people

into thinking that I may

have disappeared.

I would walk in the fresh snow

then step backwards

in my own footsteps.


Now my trick

is the real thing—

my footsteps in the snow

trudge forward, then stop.


If I were a hewn tree

you’d look at my rings

and see how weak I am

barely defined, barely separated.


The definition of life

is growth. Am I alive

if my growth has stopped?

What are you looking for?