The Long Run

Solitude is sanity
sunflowers in the rifle range

These lines come
on Lime Kiln and Irish Hill,
a long run
through living
paintings, not in fact alone
but one with the nameless little birds
flitting on wire, cows I greet–Hi, girls!
and their brothers who offer my daughter
her favorite meal,

the play of light and fog
on the leaves
just now turning,
one road leading to
the middle of another,
gravel driveways invitations
to seclusion, salt-of-the-earth Vermonters
fetching their mail, offering directions
when I question my compass–
How much further?

The brief bliss of scrubbing smooth
skin in a hot, hot shower
before driving south–
the light on the lake wowing me–
and pulling over impulsively
where we celebrated
our first wedding anniversary
eleven years ago. At the bar,
the cocktail special–
muddled raspberries, Grey Goose,
a splash of Chambord. Wildflowers
in small glass jars,
lovely chandeliers,
the chicken mole
surely the best meal of my life–
I watch the parties enter
with so many reservations,
leave a big tip,
and walk around back
to see the sky darken.
Now I sit
on my friend’s swinging bench
sipping solitude
and day-old Dunkin’ Donuts coffee,
sprawl across the meadows without concern,
lace up my sneakers
and set out once again
for the long run.


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