“Counting to Twelve at Willamette Park” by Linnea Nelson

Linnea Nelson


first what i notice
is predictable
the water

second the wild
blackberries third
that they are ripe

fourth the hairs
on the backs
of my legs

fifth that i am still
clueless about how
to meditate well

sixth if i take
a picture of this
sunrise what i will remember

will be taking
the picture and not
how it was here

but if i don’t
then what will i have
to show for this seventh

i think i
am beginning
to meditate

maybe eighth love
is moving toward
the beloved

not waiting
to be moved
toward ninth

i am either ready
to begin for real
or for ten

i heard loving someone
with the same

as you is statistically eleven
times more fatal to love
than loving alone

every year i have known
you we have counted
to twelve

in AA they told us
take what is useful
& leave the rest

but what of what
i brought
the wanting to

sit on this sunscorched
patch of grass
left to myself

before the tai chi group
& stroller-runners arrive
& understand

that it is you i have
been mourning over again
can i leave that too

from Rattle #63, Spring 2019


Linnea Nelson: “I came to love poetry very early in life, having parents whose love of the written word provided a constant source of imaginative play in our household. I won a blue ribbon at the North Dakota State Fair for a pretty awful poem at the age of eight, and never looked back. These days, poetry is one mode of transport I take on the long way through my unknowing.” (web)

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