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Updated: Apr 25, 2023

sunrise over Canandaigua Lake in western NY

For decades I’ve hidden in the freedom of woods and water. Childhood nature now grown. Immersed, enjambed one hushed exhale into the next in its circuital pentameter. Seasonal stanzas marking decades of attempted escape. There is no distance far enough.

The responsibility of life is far easier when left at the door on my way out. Cross the threshold empty handed, empty hearted and conspiring like thieves with my dark passenger. Arms around shoulders, nodding one-track affirmations into the green.

Ten thousand escapes. Ten thousand and one before I turn around and witness forty-eight years of junk-mind wither then burn to its rhizomes. Wildfire clean. The past holds hazy in the air above the lake in its clear-eyed glacial depth. Nostalgia does not relent.

It’s no longer enough to walk away. Cicadas’ rattling syllables join the breeze coming down the glen. North, up and over heights of shale and hardwoods, the great snake lies dead, as the Native story goes. Killed by a young warrior, puking the heads of its dead as stones into the lake.

Eagles in flight name the southwest wind. Carry their purpose in wide gliding patrols. Nature witnessing itself. Sustaining order as I relearn the chemistry, biology and poetry of my own nature. Re-immersed. Enjambed again in the hushed celebration of presence.

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