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Perpetual Resurrection: New Life Springs From What Came Before

As Jackson Hole poet Libby Crews Wood notes, all of us, every living being, contributes to the masterpiece of Nature

NOTE: We 21st-century humans are still trying to perfect the recycling of our stuff—be it waste, material castoffs or kitchen food to nurture the garden soil. But in nature, engulfing us and which we are a part, is the picture of perfection. In her poem titled Decomposition, Libby Crews Wood of Jackson Hole employs the word as a metaphor for the start of a glorious new beginning of shapeshifting. No season is more full of revelation than spring. "I wrote this poem while seated in Grand Teton National Park alongside a gnarled piece of driftwood that has not drifted anywhere for decades. Thought it might suit these times in this place," she says. Enjoy.  —Mountain Journal 


 by Libby Crews Wood

 It’s really hard
 to decompose in the West. 
 First you must grow 
 and live and compose 
 yourself for decades, 
 until, eventually 
 your tissues cease
 to draw water from the ground
 in which you are rooted. 
At last you begin 
to lose form
 shed your needles
 your limbs 
your bark 
your fear, and you no longer
 expect or need or want
 from this Earth -- 
or even this century. 
And you wait. 
You wait for the insects 
the rodents
 the lightning strike
 the ice, the wind, the sun
 to weaken your hold -- 
even though you lost 
your grip long, long ago.
 And you fall. 
Transposed now
from upright
to downright ready -- 
but it’s not over. 
No, it is in this state of repose
 that you will consider
 the fine contours of your form 
the now twisted, horned, greyed and broken
 lines of the life you composed. 
Libby Crews Wood
About Libby Crews Wood

Libby Crews Wood is a poet, mother, wife, grade school teacher in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the daughter of a ranching family whose roots in the West go back seven generations.
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