Uncategorized

Giving Way

The storm blows
trees across lines
and we all come out to see
neighbors we have not met
in thirteen years
calling to us from across the way,
“Hello, hello, do you have power?
Do you have any damage?”
 
It is hot for days.
 
The dog and I clamber
over fallen beeches
to walk the trail
winding along a stream
as we do every week.
 
A stranger in soiled wellies with his panting
labrador pauses to ask
about the contents of our fridge
and the integrity of our roof
before apologizing
for all the mud. “The path to the pond
is pretty rough with all the trees down.”
 
The pond?
 
He and the hound bid us farewell
and I see a trail
I have never met
in thirteen years
bending off through the shattered woods.
 
It takes me two months to find
time, it is September
before we follow the thin ribbon
of roots and earth
to a place where lily pads blanket the surface
and tiny frogs whing away from the splashing
advance of my dog through mud
swallowing her up to her chest. She dips
her head again
and again to drink
living water
all of a sudden
right here.

Uncategorized

Barton Cabin 22

The fire is coals now, gray
stone cooling. At the edge
of dusk, a dog yips
and moans, its echo against the wall
of hemlock boughs
brings down the night.
 
Everyone here had a mother
once, even the moth dying
with the embers. Even the yelping hound,
but would he recognize his
if she crept into camp sniffing
for scraps?
 
We are all orphans of one
sort or another. The ghosts
of the fathers we should have had lay
cool fingers on our necks and guide us
into the missing embrace. Murmurs
in a foreign tongue ride
the low howl and snag
on branch, needle, ash.
 
It is not the dog after all. It is something else
slipping away
before we even turn our heads.
Out beyond the dark,
some small curtain
lifting.