In My Backyard

The summer swept me up

and she is following me.

I am walking through the forest,

and remembering a few days I spent

way too high and writing through July

I wondered if I’d finally become

the lady version of Jack Kerouac

that I’ve wanted to be since reading

On the Road in my senior year of high school.

When I was driving to and from Durham

all the road signs stood out to me like lightening,

like this place was completely new to me,

or like I hadn’t lived here since birth.

When I was a child and walked on this path to the stream

finding puff mushrooms that I always tried to stomp on too early…

they’d only puff if I waited longer,

past the last dry spell and to the end of August,

a month of spirit, bittersweet slippery.

Through the swamp, the boards for crossing it are submerging themselves

further into the black mud with every thunderstorm.

Feet wet now, I follow the dog through the dripping land.

At the stream I crouch folding my legs under me on the pebbled shore

reach forward to cup the stream’s water in my hands,

warm, letting it sift down and smelling earth inside.

I reach my hands up to slick the rosemary peppermint oil

back from my temples into the edge of my hair.

This is my beginning.

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