it rained sixteen months – heavy –

before we found you, mud, child,

slicked but buffeted, sinking

backward & forward.

you resisted and slid further

smoothing into before

as our hands built out to after.

smile – we coo –

the rain left you dimples

then we gave you form.

now find yours, mud, child.

and don’t slip – we scream –

(left alone

even a clay sculpture

with time in our hands – forgets all –

forms, journeys & returns)