If I Could
know each thing, the inside of it, what name each thing desires,
why trees give forests soft floors, by what means mycelia—pale
filaments of life tunneling in the dark—touch words together,
how stones feel when orphaned by collectors, what snails dream
as they estivate inside the delicate turns of their shells, what terror
winged and winding things inhabit when fire approaches, what tongue
works apart cracks in ice to lap and liquify each frozen lake—
I would place myself inside a tree, touch the raw muscle of its bark,
try to understand what courage, what strength it takes to hold one’s
limbs up in praise for a lifetime.
Poem by Kathleen Kimball-Baker
Kathleen Kimball-Baker is a Minneapolis writer and editor. A three-time finalist in Minnesota’s Loft Literary Center Mentor Series (for fiction and creative nonfiction entries), she received an honorary mention for her 2012 essay on dogsledding. Her poems appear in Blue Mountain Review (forthcoming), MockingHeart Review, Lines & Stars, Red Wolf Journal, and the Southwest Journal. She escapes to the north woods of Minnesota often, whenever possible with a team of Alaskan huskies and a dog sled.