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Journey’s End

Lui Collins

Road weary,
I make the last turn
into the familiar dirt driveway
and roll on down to the little house
that stands at the edge of the woods.

"I’m home!" I call to the silent rooms
My favorite comfy chair awaits me
by the woodstove
I am tempted to plunk myself into it
to snuggle in and be slow

Not yet, I tell myself,
time enough for that later.
Instead, I carry in a few armloads of wood
and stoke the fire
I twist a scarf about my neck
and summon up what energy I have left
to greet the woods
before serious dark will fall.

The woods are still
and dusk wraps itself around me
as, unsettled and restless from the road,
I descend into the twilight
Each soft footfall
on the trail’s thick blanket of leaves
eases the flow of my breath

At the lower stream I stop -
listen to water tumbling over rock
drink in the peace of home.
I fill my lungs and feel the evergreen laden air permeating every cell
I let my roots down
into the sweet earth

Dark is falling fast
as finally I turn,
let my feet lead me
back up the path
a smile playing on my lips
my heartbeat easy in my breast
sweet melody of home
singing me
up the hill.

December 9, 2000
I-85 North Carolina