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It’s narrative we live in.

Early. Late. Here only

do we ride a voice that canters forth

to listeners bound to hear.

Here finally do we slip beyond

obsessive selves toward rites

that vest our tales

with freighted memory.

Those big-browed hairy faces

by a cave-fire while the ice cracks

are the grist of us -- rapt at

hand-signed stories of the hunt,

the kill, the spirit marks that signal

feasts at close.

Gaunt figures in gray treatment chairs

slumped bonelessly or hypnotized

by globules in their chemo drips

grow radiant at the chance to share

their disregarded histories.

Through tales

each soul is recognized; endorsed

to feel; can compass buried griefs.

Perhaps rise to community.

Perhaps in some sense heal

Version first published in What Rough Beast, Jan.11, 2020

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