House of Dreams

I grew up in a house backed by acres of woods. So much dreaming, then, amid the milkweed and the cattails.

On a trip this past week to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I walked with friends along a trail through another woods, where all things woodsy were wet with the thaw of a recent snow and the ever-present mist. Vivid green moss and blue-green lichen and golden fungi, and narrow little branches holding on to the last tiny red berries of the year.

Trees almost bare of leaves, and the sprawling arms of glossy rhododendron. Icy water streaming down sheered rock. Little creeks of runoff, filling the river. There was the sound of rushing current, and the sound of calling birds, and the sound of footsteps on wet fallen leaves.

Across the trail, in the pond, the salamanders floated just below the surface, their legs akimbo, nearly motionless. The air was cold. It smelled good. I wore warm socks and a wool coat and made poems as I walked.

Silent poems, in a house of dreams. Evanescent as the mist.

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