On The Appalachian Trail, May 15, 2023

I’ve been eating bread and
Honey mostly lately,
Cat hair on the counter
Where my shedding twins

Know not to hop—
But more specifically
Know not to hop
When I’m watching.

I clean and I tidy,
Do yoga daily,
Tend to the farm.
Days of growing revelation:

On the Appalachian Trail,
Raven Rocks, near Bluemont
Virginia, peeing into a
Thicket of witch hazel

I find the man with eyes
That show the skies straight
Through him. He stops, a
Through-hiker seeing

Connection, his square-shaped
Pack blackly looming like
The backdrop of a theatre:
“I’ll tell you a joke,”

He begins, “It’s one I tell
Every day-hiker I encounter.”
Yes, he actually said encounter.
The man then tells a joke

I shall not repeat here.
It wasn’t very funny.
Don’t think, I thought, proceeding,
Recalling his red beard

Swaying thick as a fox’s tail,
The way he grasped my eyes,
Seizing them without hesitation.
Truth! Truth! Maya Angelou

Wrote, When someone shows
You who they are, believe
Them the first time.
Strikes me to believe him

Like I believe the slaty rocks, the
Long-winged caddis, the loblolly
Pine with windswept branches, spelling
Words I can read without knowing

Their definitions. Look for yourself.
From behind, far away now,
You see the through-hiker kneeling
At the stony trailhead, stooping

For packets of salmon, crackers,
Dehydrated potatoes left by angels,
Or perhaps simply people who will laugh at
His jokes, even when they’re not funny.

2 thoughts on “On The Appalachian Trail, May 15, 2023”

  1. I am a 2018 Thru-hiker
    I am a gardener
    I followed you for years
    I looked at you the same way
    You looked at the Thru-hiker

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