I spat into the tube and sent it off
and now I know: I descended from a
crabapple tree. A nettle by the river
was my grandfather, but the oak I call
Grandmother is not an ancestor at all.
The snapping turtle I moved from the road,
the wolf spider I met in the garden
scurrying away with her white egg ball,
are second cousins. I am part fox, stillness
on the edge of the meadow. I am part
owl, passing on silent wings. I am thrice
removed from an otter, four times from a deer.
Catbird is my brother—I knew it all along.
We sing the same cobbled-together song.