Stringer’s Ridge Pastoral 2, January 2016

Clouds are coming in.
What had been crisping
under my feet last week
is mulching itself today.

IMG_1995You can almost breathe in
this morning’s mist.

With each beat of my left
foot, I retell the verses
of the last 20 days. 20 months.
20 years, to myself. Sometimes,
landing on crinkly leaves gone soft,
I repeat them aloud.

All of those hours that are stacked,
irregular like rock or sawed-off limb,
I file back through them, wondering
how I spent them back before I
had a view like this.

Clouds are coming in.
It’s winter, so I suppose they’ll
stay for a while. It’s misting a
little less, so I stay, too,
the view softening my heart.

I breathe in the quiet, repeating
the verses I’ve spent this long
learning. Glad for the solitude,
I’m glad it’s only the trees who

I work on forgiveness up here,
and I do that best on my own.


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