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'Wooden'

Forest-credit-Kate-Brady.jpg
Kate Brady
/

by Jennifer Finley

When you feel like a block of wood
when you used to be a branch whipping
up after a lump of snow slid off you,
what are you supposed to do?

You can't become a tree again. You
can't reattach yourself to where you
came from. Yet, you share the same
bark and pulp.

What does all of this mean? What if,
as a block, you finally get to ride
in the back of a truck? Is it worth
your life to have someone's
fingers wrap around you when you're
separated from yourself?

Yes, I know. We all die eventually.
But you don't want your worth
to depend on whether or not some
one reaches out for you and sees
your beauty among all the other trees.

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Jennifer-Finley.jpg
Jennifer Finley

Jennifer Finley (formerly Jennifer Greene) is Salish/Chippewa-Cree. She is the author of two books of poetry and a children's book. She's also an award-winning journalist, a yoga enthusiast, and a playwright. Jennifer was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation where she currently resides. Her poems also appear in anthologies including the latest edition of Poems Across the Big Sky.

Chérie Newman is an arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. Her weekly literary program, The Write Question, is broadcast on several public radio stations, and available online at PRX.org and MTPR.org.