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If lost, the camp counselor instructs, you must wait

to be found. My friends and I nod and then howl,

eager to scatter, make mischief like puppies. I will


always recall this advice and have not yet

found it to be true. In st/illness I draw myself 

closer—every extra limb falls away, fingers


gone to roots, bones turned to stone. When 

they gather my hair decades later, they will laugh,

let it go, embarrassed. This is no woman—


just fallen usnea. Even if I vibrate and shake, and

bluebirds erupt from my chest, still I will not

be seen. I have stopped believing anyone


can offer me a cure I do not already carry. I outstretch 

my hands and they remain empty. The map writes itself

from the direction I turn—distant routes


crumble like fallen tunnels; choices split like ripe 

peaches and new ones emerge in their place. Always

the beetles march in, waving the banners of hunger.


There is beauty to make from rot and shards, from 

golden bees that crawl from nostrils and ears, 

trailing honey. Every bit of sweetness in this world


matters. I once traveled all the way to the northern-

most edge to remember the look of love on my parents’ 

faces. The last choice I have is the song I sing to myself.

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LAURA ADRIENNE BRADY is a writer, educator, and singer-songwriter (known as Wren). Laura’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Poet Lore, Brevity, EcoTheo Review, The Fourth River, Sundress Press’s A Body You Talk To: An Anthology of Contemporary Disability, and elsewhere. Her most recent project, Pink Stone: Songs from Moose Lodge, is an album of original folk songs and an illustrated companion book of essays and photography. Laura has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net and was a poetry finalist at the Tucson Festival of Books. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University. Explore Laura’s multidisciplinary work at


I began visiting Fisher Point during the early days of the pandemic. In the monotony of lockdown, arriving at the cliffside after a several mile wander—a feat for my chronically ill body—was a continual (and precarious) delight. I wrote this poem during that period, and while the first lines came to me on a hike along the Pipeline trail, the closing image was most certainly evoked by my memories of looking over the edge at Fisher Point with a life-giving mix of wonder and despair.

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