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CHOICES

by Tess Gallagher

I go to the mountain side

of the house to cut saplings,

and clear a view to snow

on the mountain. But when I look up,

saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in

the uppermost branches.

I don’t cut that one.

I don’t cut the others either.

Suddenly, in every tree,   

an unseen nest

where a mountain   

would be.

 Photo: Byota Art, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Choices” appears in MIDNIGHT LANTERN: New and Selected Poems by Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press, 2011)