Conversation with a Hillside

On a warm afternoon in May

I shut down the saw, took off the hardhat, and just stood a while with you.


“I‘ve thought about this all winter.  We’re in this together.  I’m staying.”


“A year ago today, on that long Sunday walk

North high along the ridge, then down to the falls and back along the river —

You were so full and soft and fresh and alive.

I will remember that day for the rest of my life.”


And in my mind’s voice I went on:

“And I see you now,

Black and scarred and twisted,

Roots and limbs all skewed akimbo,

Heaps of dust and ash,

You know – you really look like Hell!”


And I heard a whisper back, or thought I did, as I stood alone and quiet:


Yup and believe me, I feel kinda like Hell too. 

It’s gonna take a long time to heal from this.

You’ll be dead and gone a hundred years

              before I’m ever green and full and lovely like that day.


“I know,” I said. “But hey — there’s no place else I’d rather be.

I’m going to stay and watch the start of this

              for as long as I’m up and around.”

So count me in.”  


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