1.To the pilot overhead, plane dozingon midday’s merest breath, I am a khaki oval, feet pumping fore and aft.Twist of silver flashes on my arm.
2.Every “On your left!” hailed from behind a benediction;“Good morning” to my face, nodded, smiled: simple grace.
3.Photograph: an arch of ferns, gravid with late-season growth – remnant, despite the tireless, churning drone of dozers fields away, ofa germinal, a lush and greening world.
4.Sun swells and pulses, scales sky worn to a memory of blue.Errant bee bombs my hat brim;inchworm deftly belly- rolls and curls at my approach – then,a message from my firstborn. I don’t break stride.
5.Though lost in words, the sounding of these words as,in my heart, before my eyes, this mind I love is screening words,I reach the farthest point almost oblivious to pain, and turn aroundto words that drown the sound of insect orchestra, nudge me almost painlessly; almost without pain:I turn around these words.
6.Out of body – flick! – I fly, tens of decades back in time: under this maddening prod of sun have I beyond all sense becomethe Donner Party – except I trek alone in shoes of leather, snug, whole;except it’s blazing summer;except the ground is level, the air not mountain-thin;except I slept last night upon a bed – slept and dreamed;except clear water and cool air await, minutes on;except the egg breakfast I can almost taste will be, not a figment, but real food.
— Thus, nothing plucky here to see, no: just a creaking lady thinking clearly now, still set on putting one foot in front of the other until she’s home.