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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Walk Around Lake Yahoola

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† October, that first brisk day.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I need to keep moving,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† especially in the shade

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† where cool shadows sink

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the sidewalk, & shivering, I sink

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† with it. Even my flannel shirt

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† fails to warm the tremors

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† which bite from inside,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† at the sinews. I step

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† into a sun-splayed stretch.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The cement slants, feeds the earth;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† carpetgrass chews rough, broken edges;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† weeds sprout from imprints of a childís sneakers;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† crisp maple leaves rattle;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† musk scrolls up into the air.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On the other side of the lake,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a man stands by a tall pine.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† For the first time in days,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I open my fists.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sun in my palms, I crunch

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† through web after web of palmetto,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† only to find him gone.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I kick a thick pine needle mat,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† pitch nipping my senses.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† My only comfort

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† is the branch arching over me

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† like some old manís arm.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A red-eared slider pokes

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† its head from the algae.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Underbrush rustling, I look up

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to see a denim jacket

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† weaving in and out of the foliage.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† If I can just get to the other side,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I wish as the turtle dips down

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† beneath the surface, without a sound.