The Forum Prize
Spring 2015
Libby Bernardin

And when the forest of your bearable life appears

	And when the forest of your bearable life appears

									—after Katie Ford

Rising and unfolding, like a great beast 
	or mangrove, no, a bamboo grove: 

thick canes you’ll need a machete 
to navigate—imagine the strength you’ll need
to hack a path through mature growth, cutting
away as if each cane’s node could release
untold stories—

	Look up from your scything to wipe your brow—
	a boat idles among bald cypress, 
	stacked with charts mapping the waterway, 

		sun lighting an open seat—
		as if all you had to do was step aboard.
©2015 Libby Bernardin