if I swim naked in my pool?
All other human occupants
have left this neighborhood behind,
leaving more room
for possums, skunks,
birds, scorpions, spiders
I keep a closer company with them
than I do with any human these days.
This week, I talk to the large caterpillar
who seems to sprout two crystals from his crown
as he sits for a day on the Olmec head
that guards my swimming pool.
Back and forth, back and forth I pass,
adding a look at him to my lap routine.
For one long afternoon,
he sits still—like Alice’s caterpillar,
meditating in this grey place.
If he were on my Virginia Creeper,
I’d be repositioning him
to the empty lot next door, but here
he seems to be a guest; and so some etiquette
keeps me from altering his placement
as he sits on stone, moving his suction cups in sequence
now and then only to alter his direction, not his territory.
Perhaps I’ve stayed too long
in this one place.
That wandering poet within me
may have somewhere it thinks I need to go.
If it creates a good alternative,
I might follow in much the same way
that I have come to this point
in my poem.
Blindly, in a maze of words,
open to what comes next.
The prompt word today was “maze.” This is an extensive rewrite of a poem written three years ago.