Mission creep

i watch from under
my umbrella

the complexly bladed ferns
dancing erratically in the rain

my feet and their forever
war on stasis

the ruts reasserting themselves
through fresh stone

i was only going
for a walk and now

i’m pondering the obligations of ferns
the prerogatives of feet

and the way a green tongue
snakes through everything

as if wisdom grew on trees
as if it were made of gray paper

a head-sized tumor
emitting hornets

or the way rain beads
on a jewelweed leaf

unable to find purchase
on such a smooth skin

it rolls and gathers
into the veins

in capsule form

my pace slows
to a creep

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