By Pat Schneider, from Another River: New and Selected Poems (Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2005). Used with permission.
The self you leave behind
is only a skin you have outgrown.
Don't grieve for it.
Look to the wet, raw, unfinished
self, the one you are becoming.
The world, too, sheds its skin:
politicians, cataclysm, ordinary days.
It is easy to lose this tenderly
unfolding moment. Look for it
as if it were the first green blade
after a long winter. Listen for it
as if it were the first clear tone
in a place where dawn is heralded by bells.
And, if all that fails,
wash your own dishes. Rinse them.
Stand in your kitchen at your sink.
Let cold water run between your fingers.