North of Oxford

The Cave
The most beautiful thing I saw today
was a damaged square of sidewalk
where an old butternut tree had fallen
and cracked it like a pie crust
revealing a hollowness that plummeted
forty feet down into an abandoned coal-
mine shaft.A room with walls of coal.
I once entered a cave, felt an ancient comfort.Today
I woke in my room.When I meditate I plummet
and imagine I can understand bird song, the sidewalk
robin, “For this day we thank thee, for thy pie crust
we thank thee, for our lives…” The song falls
down the long shaft of being to where I sit, fallen.
The cave was in Missouri; I felt at home inside; no coal,
just graffiti from Jesse James.I could see the crusts
of bread strewn in the bandits’ grotto.Today
however is blind.I pound the sidewalk
with a stick, hear its hollowness.Coins plummet

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