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A dark wooded night: The Prodigal Ghost

Wind bristling, snow spitting,

urging my heels to push small pine cones

crunching icy pine needles in my foot prints.

 

Owls hoot! Shadows dart! Dead limbs snap!

Moonlight guides the rising bend.

Boot soles slide on unseen ice.

I regain balance.

Rousted squirrels brightly tick eventide.

The remaining light fades from dusk,

I find myself at the  forest edge

short of distant village lights.

 

The wind tears through his over-coat

 threads flutter and shred behind him.

Sleet and ice, preceding new-falling snow

quickly glistens  the way.

 

Dim lights flicker

through the tunnel of a covered bridge.

               He rode hard and fast on the morning he crossed it.

With anger, pain, and impatient with promises,

               he vowed to return without the empty hands

               that gripped the reins of his departure.

 

Wood smoke waffles in scented  shifting winds

carrying anticipation awaiting  by the wood stove.

 

Storm steadily  blowing in a white-out slant

stretches the flame of his swaying lamp.

 

Following  the tracks that he once made;

never looking back  at his worst now,

or, whatever he thought was his best.

Putting my lamp out,

I stamped my feet on the wooden porch floor

and enter the bright warm farmhouse.

 

In my welcome, I returned from my pockets,

the path I had taken and the good grace

of a dark wooded night.

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Children, New England, New Hampshire, Outlaw, Poetry, Zen

 

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