New Year’s Day Poem

I wrote this on New Year’s Day 2013, I think. The day before I’d spent a few hours hiking around Peace Valley Lake in Bucks County, so that’s where some of the imagery began.

New Year’s Day

The woods smell like good dogs

in the rain, walnuts and acorns cracked

and crunching under boots, the kind

of light that comes like notes

in music, rests where it needs,

holding onto bare bushes or

the cracks in fallen trees.

It’s not the rot and rhythm

of woods that’s right,

the lie of snow against water,

a shifted step from stone to stone

and the life he thinks he lives.

The trail is wide and flat

with rocks he names for dogs

he knew, dark hackles raised to the light.

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