One Way toThink About the Past

      There's a print, a woodcut: rough grain inked
then pressed to creamy paper. Fish circling 
the murky lake bottom. Choppy waves 
and a rowboat passing beneath willows, their limbs 
slashed green and splayed out like the tail feathers
of fighting cocks. Fog, as in the mind, obscures 
the view of buildings, roofs of ridged metal. 
Whatever you were then—still so unfinished, 
inadequate—you're not sure you've left
completely behind. It must have followed you
or you must have carried it, folded and slipped into
a pocket, between creased pages. Every now
and then, you take that old you out and it blinks
slowly in the sun.  You have to lead it, make
a litany of the simplest things it used 
to think it could never have. 

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