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Freedom in Ohio

on my birthday

I want a future

making hammocks

out of figs and accidents.

Or a future quieter

than snow. The leopards

stake out the backyard

and will flee at noon.

My terror is not secret,

but necessary,

as the wild must be,

as sandhill cranes must

thread the meadow

yet again. Thus, autumn

cautions the cold

and the wild never want

to be wild. So what

to do about the thrum

of my thinking, the dangerous

pawing at the door?

Yesterday has no harmony

with today. I bought

a wool blanket, now shredded

in the yard. I abided by

dwelling, thought nothing

of now. And now?

I’m leopard and crane,

all’s fled.

from Some Say the LarkFind more by Jennifer Chang at the library

Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Chang
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Jennifer Chang Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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