Slowly you begin to understand

it’s not what seemed to matter at the time:

it’s what you barely noticed, or ignored.


And then your whole life changes, and you see

how much was wasted, how much lost, yet how

tenderness was always in the grain.


You know you won’t hold on to what you know.

You know that’s not important, in some way

which doesn’t add up like a bank account


or shape itself into a long career.

But it’s all in that one moment when you know

what’s always there, whether or not in vain.

Published in Snakeskin 250, April 2018