Better that

we walk out of the forest again—
avoid the wet lips of the drooping
edge of trees.

Out to the west is the open plain.
The sun shines from behind our
warming backs.

We can see ahead,
feel the warm comfort
stroke our backs.

In the forest we are secluded, safe
in the shadows of trees.

Out here we are vulnerable to the sun,
to what the sun may shine upon
that comes our way.

We will see whatever comes come.
We can prepare for it,
prepare our fear.

But in the trees we cannot see
what may come.

What is our fate that hasn’t come is
our comfort
that hasn’t come.

Our safety comes from remembering
what that might be—
only our comfort is in our forgetting.

On the plain there is no forgetting.
Our eyes on the field of distant horizon
remember for us.

Better that
we return to the forest.

Better that
we turn and go out onto the plain.

Better that we return,
that we turn.
Better . . .
better . . .

or . . . yes . . .

only better

but better enough
to keep care aware

Richard Fenton Sederstrom is the writer of six books, including Eumaeus Tends, and Selenity Book Four. His new book Sorgmantel, follows a view of Lucretius, but employs time, the predicate of physics, into a search for what can be imagined out of the possible and impossible. It can be read, perhaps, as an elegy for generations whose existence humankind is threatening, including humankind. Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.