On my walk around the reservoir I was thinking, it won’t get any easier, but the ease in my body as I thought this thought, on the first day of the last month of a long, constricted year,

     breathing the sweet spice of the dead wet leaves, and grasses, some standing, some matted in a circle as if a deer had bedded down there overnight,

     thinking if we could see the rain as rain, knowing full well the science, the pain as pain, knowing full well the politics—

I wanted to say that after they stopped trying to kill my grandfather he grew up and became my grandfather.

     Two different people, outside and inside. Outside he had the gift of beautiful neutrality, he wasn’t stuck in some pathetic fallacy but was rooted in the dirt—a gardener, and a walker, attuned to weather. He forgot himself.

     Inside, he sat in his camel-colored recliner and inhabited a stronghold within the greater republic of organized forgetting.

How he survived was fate but how he lived was bifurcation, like his trees, his quince and peaches.