My mother died before I was born,
My father before I was conceived,
All recorded on pages torn
From books not meant to be believed.
Raised in a house by an ancient aunt,
Who planted something new each day
And fed and watered me like a plant,
Until the night she went away.
Learned to read from a lexicon.
Learned to write in ink I brewed.
Saw dogs, saw snakes, saw jays at dawn
Who called my name, as though too shrewd
To let me pass. I burned it down
And let it lie. I took a stream
That floated me on past a town.
I found it flame and left it steam.
And then a path. And then a road,
And then another, till today.
This is the route the fire showed.
This is what works, the right of way.