A woman who worked all night

wears her green hairguard

to eat and smoke where a creek


slides past the turkey plant.

Her good eye swivels and tears

while the bad eye meditates


on surfaces—light scattered

to thistles and amaranth.

Beauty hurts her. Trees tip


their leaves to the changing brightness,

eager as weeds. The woman

catches her shadow


sneaking out to the street again,

shamed, hiding its face.

The willow tree instructs her:


its bark, sculptured branches,

leaves like soft ropes.

She sees they are strong,


flexible, doing their work.

Anything might step forward now

and ask to be her teacher.

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