Observation of an everyday activity that has an important impact:

Before Moving On

After working all day, we set out

down our driveway with the green arch

of trees reaching over the road. We pass through

redwoods, and glide under branches past

the narrow necklace of stream rolling down

banks of thick earth, then pull up to the main road

and stop. It’s a kind of ritual we go through

each time we come to the crossroad. I look back

up around the corner to the right, past the tall strands

of wild grass, trees and shrubs that have grown up there,

and are rarely trimmed back. I pause and peer

through the branches, twigs, and shadows, waiting

to see if a car, or bicyclist might come racing past.

And there we hesitate, like birds poised on

the edge of flight, lifting and cocking their heads

to gaze into the sky the moment before

raising their wings for the long trip south.

“Yes,” I might say, or, “Wait,” while a

slender-legged deer rounds the bend

and trots past. All our journeys, into town

or half way round the world hinge

on the trust inside those words.

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