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Peter Huggins


Leaving the Plains

When they come for me,
I won't be here.
I'll be in the woods
Among the foxes and raccoons.

A tulip poplar
Will be my home.
I'll forage for pecans,
Hunt wild grapes,

Fish for bass and bream.
Deer will give me their lives.
Squirrels will bring me
Blackberries and walnuts.

Mint tea will sustain me
As I become the wind
That wraps the white oaks
In a balm of light.

Purified by my quest,
Green martyr for my faith,
I'll leave the woods
And make the world my home.


I am a field,
Plowed and seeded
Waiting for rain.

When I am ripe,
My black silk streaming down,
I'll shuck my corn

In its green husks.
I'll feed myself

I'll like the taste
On my papillae

When I am finished

I'll plow myself
Turning my stalks

Into the ground
Providing the means
To conjure my return.


Not a hot air balloon, the kind
You ride into the great silent air,
The silence like a mountain pool,
So still you are not conscious
Of motion until you drop off

The falls and then the rush and roar
of water that spills you
Into the next smooth still pool
And leaves you breathless.

A regular balloon, regular as life,
That goes about its business
Like the seasons:  spin and turn,
Rise and fall, it whirrs
A lifetime on one breath alone.


Peter Huggins books of poems are Necessary Acts, Blue Angels, and Hard Facts; he is also the author of a picture book, Trosclair and the Alligator, which has appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions, and a novel for younger readers, In the Company of Owls.
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