The Space Between by Naomi Joy Nance

–After “Perhaps the World Ends Here”

In the short space between the door and the Ancient Maple, the worlds begin.

Many gifts are offered each day in just a few steps.

Here is where we greet the morning air and the dogs—with their grins stretching across the grass and into the forest—hustling us into their play.

Here are the excited ghosts of children, laughing as they race to the lake. Here are the grey-haired and white-haired ones too, as they watch, as they wait for the sun to paint the sky orange then pink.

And here, between this door and this tree, the day is mourned, and the night celebrated by the Bard Owl’s ghostly song. We become sculptors of dreams and surfers of our memories, as dust-devils of sand promenade down the dirt road—in this short space.

Here we breathe the night air, sharp with its January frost, or it is thick with cricket chants, the tall wet grasses of summer, the electric hum of the sky holding its water—the waiting hum.

Sometimes we just stop here, in between. We sit on the ground searching for agates and acorn tops. We let our breath come out heavy—one time, two times—letting thought churn soft. Child-thought.

Here, in this short space, the door opens and the arms of the great trees hold us in their circle. Every time. From this door to the Ancient Maple.

Perhaps the worlds end here and begin here 10,000 times,

and again.


Bringing Joy: A Local Literary Welcome Copyright © 2021 by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. All Rights Reserved.

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