Crossing the Field

The chill in the air haunts

the black stones washed clean

by the tepid river

it flows past cottonwoods

that carry their mortal burden

on their heads they speak

only in sign language

mincing words

a human could not say

the ice floes have melted

the rains stopped

little moisture but my belabored breath

crossing the field

pheasants take flight

field mice scurry

the chill means nothing

to those ensconced in the earth

I have left and returned

smelling of honey and smoke

aromas of belonging

but I cannot say where

I have eaten the bitter fruit

of not being there

I carry my mortal burden

on my back wet with winter’s chill

fires line the woods

the pond glazes over

I look far afield

but must camp alone

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