rainy hike – a poem i am too lazy to edit (because I want to go box now.)

Imageit was sunny , I swear, when I started-

the rain began so softly, or i was so tangled in my thoughts

I didn’t notice until my sweater slipped, damply, off my shoulder

and something in me … rose up

as though she’d been waiting, curled,

since i came back from Wales years ago

was handed my boy, my wild light

in a box. His ashes were so small- a tiny puff of grey

I held them in my hands and i felt nothing

did not feel her tendrils retreat, did not feel my neck stretch toward the ground

did not feel Imagination grow dull, scared into sleep

sharply cold, the rain on my eyelids

I feel her stretch and smile-

my hems are dragging, sodden now

and the businessman in the doorway

khakis pressed, wide shiny belt hard

holding in his soft animal belly

says “yeah,” absently into the phone,

takes his hand out of his pocket

and lowers that little black prison

to smile openly at me.

I feel his longing,

for youth, maybe, I think –

I feel like telling him,
“come away now, come box for a little while,”

that has always been my tragic flaw–I see the animal in others

and I want to set it free

I have grown wiser now, so I smile and walk on

an old man is coming toward me;

he grins like a beacon under his sweatshirt hood

walking a bright, lion colored dog

I smile at the dog, animal to animal

and then the man greets me like we’re at a family reunion

and I realize-

it’s not youth.

it’s life force…

a phrase we say too much, and have forgotten how it feels

those of us who are blessed enough to remember we are animals

to feel the rain on our faces

and let our sweaters fall off our shoulders,

we wake up- it doesn’t matter when

let your animal out to play, oh, let it out.

I swear it was sunny when I started.

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