Light straddles the counter then slides                                
over the chairs. I am undone 

by the daughter again, the one who has gone 
under and chosen to eat only what she plucks 

with her hand. My arms fling imaginary 
blankets over the land. A line of birds 

arrows overhead, bound for somewhere other
than here. Even when they're hidden from view,

I can't forget the way newly planted rice fields look—
stalks partly submerged in water, roots feeling

for foothold in clay and loam. Isn't the body
the same in its need for deep sustenance

and air? Each time, I sense a knot tighten in the center
of my body. Each time, I feel when the cord is cut.

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