every year my friend Al writes a valentine's day poem for his wife, Deb. he graciously gave me permission to blog it. like me, he walks the same trails hills fields near his house year after year always finding things to be interested in.
by Al Alessi
The prints are legion on the fresh few flakes
That dropped unbeknownst in the night
To the coyotes' delight
For the clean clear tracks will help their task
Of returning the owner to their maker
Taker wins all
In the call of the wilderness behind our home
It is the way of all time
This reading of lines on the white canvas
To know what chances are there to live or die
A storyboard screed for all to read
The grouse the turkey the hare
Their trails lay bare for the predator
Or tourist to decipher
The wild ridge where men can not easily live
Giveth and taketh away
Deer moose mouse and owl
Painting their lines of whence they came
And to where they would hope to go.
I do not look back to see our own trail
as we climb as we are able
To the lichen-lathered picnic table placed so long ago
By old Mr. Apple when his then spry prints
Of Vermont boot tread crisscrossed the ridge to be read
As surely as ours do today.
Do we in any way make sense
Of where we have been and what we seek
In this meander on our home hill
Where we must neither kill or be killed
We have not seen the risk of each step
As though it was our last
We are afforded contemplation
And the temptations that from there derive
As we drive on nearly to the top
With but our precipitous decline in line
To fall back untouched and unscathed
To the valley floor to our humble door and the hearth within
We have traveled many such paths together
And we know this small valley well
We know where the deer herd dwells
We know where we are headed
And if we turned about we'd see our prints in the snow.
We were there! And there!
We can see it stretch past the stoney ruins of the shepherd's hut
Our presence is as proven as calligraphy on linen
We were here
But it's clear that time will soon wash this sign of our boots
Down into the roots of maple trees and June's wild flowers.
How is it we can feel so lost and yet know our path so well?
Did we forget to choose something along the way?
Though if I chose nothing much ever very well
I am blessed that it is with thee I journey and dwell.