If you saw me walking one more time on the island
you would know how much the end of August meant to me;
and if you saw me singing as I slid over the wet stones
you would know I was carrying the secret of life in my hip pocket.
If my lips moved too much
you would cover me in light catalpa or dry willow.
Oh if I wore a brace you would help me, if I stuttered
you would hold my arm, if my heart beat with fear
you would throw a board across the channel, you would put
out a hand to catch me, you would carry me on your back.
If you saw me swim back and forth through the algae
you would know how much I love the trees floating under me;
and if you saw me hold my leaf up to the sun
you would know I was still looking for my roots;
and if you saw me burning wood
you would know I was still trying to remember the smell of maple.
If I rushed down the road buttoning my blue shirt-
if I leaft without coffee-if I forgot my chewed-up pen-
you would know there was one more day of happiness
before the water rose again for another year.