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Leaving Home

Mary Heebner
USA - California 1995

from the time my soft head crowned
through the red hole
and my mother’s spent muscles squeezed me
out of the watery place,
i began leaving home.
the empty tunnel that led me
from my first home
closed up and healed.
as i grew, i sloughed off years
like discarded snakeskin.
she saved the skins.
she wears them around memory’s neck,
to mark time to the cadence of
an ancient song
her mother’s mother’s mother once sang.