by Christopher Raley

 

 

It’s not stripped trees,
all raw-boned and cracking.
It’s not hard shadow contrast
lavished on trunks and branches.

It’s not blue sky’s arms
stretched to her boundaries.
It’s not high-wisped contrails
compassed to unknown points.

It’s not cold’s slow dirge
expected but unprepared for.
It’s not clouds of breath
condensing in congealing twilight.

It’s not the road,
grey canvass drying
in long cracked tar seals
its little caches of water.

It’s all of these as one
and compounded year
after year from touch points
forged when I was young,

when I shrugged on my overcoat
without a storm for months
and hardly a cloud in sight
and dreamed of that waiting day

I would climb beyond the brown valley,
cross over the white pass,
and
descend to the dark land
in search of rain.

 

 

 


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