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when were you born ¿

Light streaming through clouds in the Inner Hebrides
inner hebrides, november 30, 2017 · ben wolfe

filling out a form
i was asked
when were you born ¿

there was no room to answer,
i was born a thousand times
yesterday alone

i am being born right now,

do you not see the blood ¿
do you not feel the contractions ¿
can you not hear
the endless mother-cry of
healed and broken joy ¿

— december 20, 2007

The Appointment

(by Mark Nepo)

What if, on the first sunny day,
on your way to work, a colorful bird
sweeps in front of you down a
street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile,
a sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street
and realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows some-
thing you don’t and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird
turns down an alley. For now
there is a tension: Is what the
bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two,
thinking you can have it both ways.
But soon you arrive at the edge
of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you
and you must decide which
appointment you were
born to keep.