I used to run to the sounds of popping trees,
when rivers whispered underneath a layer of thick ice,
when maple trees lay dormant in their groves,
the taps and buckets the neighbor used on them
still stacked in his shed.
I used to say to my brother,
“we need to find a way out,”
my mind so enraptured with the creative thought
of survival in the natural world it all but took over
In the summers
I ran to the sounds of coy-dogs under a full moon,
vixens screaming from their dens
the pine trees creaking as they swayed in the heavy winds
that brought out the seven brothers of lightening
and the great tall beast, Thunder, that trailed behind them.
They always moved quick over the mountains when we sat in our front yard.
But when we were safely beneath the thick overhead canopy of aspen and birch and pine,
we heard them coming but our laughter cut through their noise,
the trees rumbling – but we didn’t care.
We’d climb up there with them, into the great old pines
that our neighbor warned us could break under us easier
than the other trees, but we never paid heed
because these were more fun to climb.
We’d hug the great mass, its rough bark
tracing marks across our palms,
already sticky and black with its sap.
I used to run to the songs of the earth
and now I run to the songs of men,
breathing in, and out, and in
I realize one day that I am alive
and I have somehow grown,
my creative mind no longer intrigued with the thought
But I am just struggling to climb up instead
from some dark hole I’ve been thrown into,
my mind an eerie abyss,
surrounded by cement and pavement and
huddled up people with their shoulders around their ears,
by cars with horns like grating cries that try to kick me back into that dismal grave.
“how in the world did I get here?”