as new as this year

identifying the mid point in winter, like i would notch
its height in a tree trunk, marking this moment in time.

seeing the last month laid out in front of me in the form of 3 by 5 watercolor drawings, (the hobby that is as new as this year) that are resting on the floor next to the lamp
and the aloe plant

seeing my name tag, (the one from the meditation retreat) (the retreat that set the tone for everything that has followed)
in the thick juicy aloe leaves

wrapping myself in a blanket and slipping my feet in oversized boots, to walk outside at the turning point between night
and day, to see if i can spot the blue super moon in the early morning.

and seeing it across the road through the neighbor’s trees, looming above the horizon, i want to follow it somewhere i can grasp it more fully,
but i don’t, and i carry my longing back inside,
slipping off the boots, and climbing the stairs back to bed

as a parting cheer

the three things I learn about elms over the weekend:

that the leaves are rough,
exfoliant , k rubs one on her arm,

that the base of each leaf is asymmetrical,
t puts her hands side by side with all of her fingers lined up and then shifts them slightly away from each other to demonstrate for me

what about the bark?
and that the bark
is squishy.

3 for 3! j says as a parting cheer as we go our separate ways, walking barefoot on the sidewalk back to our respective houses, sneakers and socks in hands, hair still dripping with river water,


to the running ((around the block, past the young tulip poplar(newly pointed out to me with its signature-ly shaped leaves), and the autumn olive, (snacked on a few berries yesterday)crossing three streets, and all along the community garden)),
and the jumping (our sweaty bodies into the river) that we have done consistently every morning of this
long holiday weekend,
the holiday that has been/is being
redefined as indigenous peoples day, catching on in this (smallish) city, as it says on the door of the library,

forbes will be closed Monday for indigenous peoples day

the parting cheer is especially for the
swimming in warm and rainy october, and
for celebrating that up until this point in (my) history i’ve firmly believed that i didn’t like running simply for the sake of running, and
i’m not sure if the habit will last but for the moment it doesn’t matter because my cold river running warm raindrop body feels happy and




dangling our bare feet

four in the bed laughing, and my eyes are still closed half sleeping, what’s funny is the poem s is reading aloud, and when c uses his poetry voice, and that we all jumped on each other to wake up early on a sunday, and then everyone’s exclaiming lyrics from songs trying to remember that one about the morning

the dried lilac on the dashboard and the banana peel in the cup holder and the beet juice stain on the steering wheel as i’m driving the back roads, passing the small stretch which curves to the left, down a hill, where the japanese knotweed shines particularly bright green and red growing over the guardrails, threatening to take over the pavement

when we are dangling our bare feet over the dock, the cold water lapping up against our toes, with our shoes and socks strewn on the wooden platform and the hood of my sweatshirt is up, sheltering me from the wind.

a woman runs up and asks, out of breath, in a whisper – did you turn off the tea water before we left?- to the man standing next to me at the concert in the barn and he responds with a firm nod and her face relaxes, because the concert is almost over, the last song is being played, and there would have probably not been any more tea water left.