Poem | Wilderness Experience

Anything can unhappen—

 

Sunworn canyons could spill ridges,

fold flowers and highways and drown

            trails going and home

or not, and my chosen road

            seems to have gone missing—

 

            This morning’s bluebells

may have seized their short summer while I walked?

Or the point-five-tenths trailmaker

            stubbed a deep earthquake?

 

Did I glance away from the skyslope?

Fail to write home about the steep twilights

or summer suns that slip sideways

            north of all evening?

 

            Landscapes have lifted

aslant stucktime, chipped whole ranges

            to seeds and bone shards—

 

Who can presume horizon?

 

Bicycle wheels may hazard

an edge and skip a mountain,

or curb for traveling treelines late and time

            afoot, perhaps gulched—

 

Branch, bone, and fender can lose

high meadow. Will fireweed slip a silk step

            to hikers? Will I

 

            join travelers enwondered

sundeep, or young too far, who can shake free

            of its old trail one

 

last way home from anywhere?

Published in the March 25, 2016 issue: 
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Judy Little is Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University. Her publications include Comedy and the Woman Writer (University of Nebraska Press, 1983) and The Experimental Self (Southern Illinois University Press, 1996). Her poetry has appeared in Vallum, Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, America, and the Anglican Theological Review.

Also by this author
Poem | Childhood Wordwaking

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