Marybeth Holleman: “Yesterday, on the Familiar Trail”

A routine walk, you know the kind: your mind

is far away, and it’s just your bones walking,
marking the rhythm of heartbeat to footstep.
It’s always like this right before you see them,

the ones who never take an absent-minded step,
staring at you with heads lowered, ears erect,
paws spread wide and hackles half-raised,
golden eyes deciding whether you’re predator
or prey. What other category do they need?
What other thought? It’s you,

with your thousand and one concepts, who must
step back toward that joy-sap rising, step back
into the only world that is.

Morning in Barna Woods, Galway, Ireland

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