Younger woman in sunglasses and sweats, on the same path I am. Body plump as young bodies are plump: fresh, inviting. Does she understand what beauty of youth she carries? See how she struts; she knows.
Small grey curly thing with a paw lifted, face tilted. Mid-day, the little dogs come out.
Music, from where? A space between walkers. Sound ebbs and rushes with the wind, “All is quiet on New Year’s Day.” Really, Bono? Do you think so? Early this morning you’d have been right. Now la monde is outside.
Young ones scramble over rocks after a lost ball.
Brushed gold grasses, rusty sumac, lake a deep blue under this sky. The primaries subdued; how pleasing. Flutter of fallen leaves, this mischievous wind, and a child named Bianca. White, in the midst of it all.
Where there were sage green buds: new leaves. Branches that rattled now rustle. Run of green up a stalk: a trill.
Oh, young man in a muscle car, you’re not half such a thrill.
Temptation to braid these reeds on the forest’s edge. I was here.
Smell of sap rising. Buds bead the tips of twigs, buds as sharp as little milk teeth.
Across a small bridge over a brook, sight of a blue-headed mallard wading upstream. Not that there is much stream to contend with. More, it’s the broken trees that block his way. He waddles gamely over logs and under arches, his bill so bright, so sudden, it looks painted on or plastic.
I notice I’ve lost my pen.
A small family bent in the wood, gathering. What, I ask. Mother calls to son, son calls to grandson, grandson explains: plants to to rub on skin, to heal the hands. Broken French on both sides, we smile and touch and gesture. May I take a picture? Image comes to focus, shutter clicks, and I hand back the healing. Small family walks on, under waking trees under noon sun.