North Pond Hermit

they say he broke
into dozens of homes
to steal calories, for
each winter he had

to survive Maine woods
under sleeping bag after
sleeping bag, wake himself
at 2am some freezing

nights just to move
around and live, not
die of frozen heart
stoppage of blood like

how time stood still
his twenty seven years
alone in trees listening
to the chickadees, chickadees

he listened more than
the rest of us
who were warm watching
M*A*S*H reruns, wondering when

the next war would
begin, but he never
even looked at his
own reflection, didn’t witness

the changing of human
events, his were the
seasons, and the thieving
moments late at night

so he could stay
alone forever, however long
that might be, but
one evening he was

caught and it all
ended, his silent solitude
had to speak again
sad, no longer free

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