To Know Myself

In the Yard After a Storm

by James Crews

I placed the acorn cap in my palm
like the smallest alms bowl, held it up
to catch the last drops of rain falling
cold from the tips of shivering leaves.
But as I turned it over, let the water
trickle out, it became the polished knob
to a trapdoor that appears only for those
who wait long enough to see its shadow
hung on mist and air. I pulled, lifted, 
then looked down as if into that place
carved out in my mind like a cellar filled
with the murky jars of my worst fears,
their labels faded but the message clear:
To know myself, I must taste each one.

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