Kathleen McGookey Here, Where I Am, in October

Trees offer their stained glass leaves to the light. Wind ripples the lake and carries the fallen ones to shore. Clouds thin as smoke rise up. You know how beautiful all this is. There, wherever you are, do you have weather? This question no longer absorbs me. My grief is barely a shadow now. A brown snake, sunning itself on the dirt road, does not move when I walk by. A woodpecker taps, insistent. This world is not a mirror, with each of us on opposite sides. Here, where I am, a hunter has dumped the halves of a skinned deer and left its head resting on its tangled legs. The flies have not found it yet. A cricket chirps the same note again and again. The sun warms me. The wind moves through the trees like breath.


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