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Shiny White-Toed Hightops

Lui Collins

The woods are damp.
The stream flows sluggish with fallen leaves.
At the trail’s turning
the smell of balsam hangs heavy in the chill air.
Last night the clouds gathered in one corner of the sky
backlit
by a moon not nearly full
but radiant nonetheless.

In the morning when I arise
frost coats the stubble of grass in the orchard
below and to the west of the house.
But the day ripens
to a gloriously sunny
push-your-sleeves-up afternoon.

And even with the sun well along
in its descent
the weekend forecast of snow
seems far away
and cannot dim my lightness of being.

I bound through the trees
dodging branches
and kicking up crisp leaves
with my new black shiny-white-toed hightops.

October 21, 1999, 6 pm.
Ashfield, MA