I Am

here unmasked outdoors

where two trees grown close

bridge the gap between them.

We’d been isolated over two years

before gathering in this open space

between the house standing here since

1840 and the new barn built forty years

later, solid fieldstone foundation, trust-

worthy weathervane rooster on roof.

I look beyond myself

to the stretch of restored prairie,

to the woods, fill a notebook with lines

of words that skitter toward meaning, fill

a sketchbook with timid drawings that

warm me to art, to art-making, a way

to bring home woods, prairie, double

and singular trees. Here where

the ephemeral pond is now dry

but the creek though low still

flows cold and clean

I am.

Margaret Rozga

Margaret Rozga served as the 2019-2020 Wisconsin Poet Laureate and the 2021 inaugural artist/scholar in residence at the UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha Field Station where she offered workshops and write-ins. She continues to offer summer Field Station poetry events. Her fifth book is Holding My Selves Together: New and Selected Poems (Cornerstone Press 2021).

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