"A Meander in the Winter Valley of the Crooked Run"

A single bright cluster of crimson berry stands
against the dusky tones
and taut dry chill of early winter

The scents on the grey wind are hard to taste,
as the consequences of the season
have taken firm hold of my sinuses

The hedgerow pops with near-iridescent blue flashes
as the flocking bluebirds forage
in barren twig, and naked underbrush

A lone Osage Orange clings to a branch,
like a grotesque leftover
of Halloween weeks ago

The cow cabin clings barely to the steep hillside,
slowly losing its battle with gravity and time

Mine is a gravel path, infrequently traversed
ready to offer passage from this world into the modern din
and the multitudes awaiting not far to the east

For vehicle or wanderer, it gives only preference to that
which is capable of tolerating
its pock ruts and muddles

My feet grind percussively along
moving to their own rhythm
along with the beating of my heart as the hill resists them

the sign says, "began 1749",
and I know it to be true
for some of these stately oaks tell me of it

in whispers

that they were here

I am sentient, and cursed with language,
I am cold,
and blessed


©2018, Andrew McKnight

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