Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the freshness of the world out West

East Is Not West

this July we found a way to savor
over two weeks out West,
mostly in Wyoming but touching high Montana for a few days,
my skin loved it out there
where the sweat that heat pulls from my skin
would actually evaporate and cool me,
back East in the Smokies
the air is too crowded with moisture already,
and a bandana is a necessity for me to deal
with the salty water that flows off my forehead,
even so, it saturates the bandana and drips, and drips,

out West there is a brash freshness to the mountains,
an assertion, a clarity,
an in-your-face shouting of the geology:
the making of mountains, valleys, 
and thermal stories on the land,

now that we’re back East,
the sharpness of line becomes rounded,
the world softer, friendlier,
more distant from its creation,

the waters murmur instead of shout,
the animals harder-to-find within obscuring forest,

I love to come home,
I also savor my time in the newness of the world.

by Henry H. Walker
July 22, ’17

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