Spattering of almost-snow on the windshield.

Derelict barns, old pastures gone to brush.

A few horsey places with megahouses,

a small organic farm. I’m a Vermonter. 

I know that all back roads sooner

or later lead to somewhere I recognize.

This one—a self-selected detour

around construction on the highway

between the hospital and home—winds through

vaguely familiar land. I know I’m heading west. 

It’s still the Valley, my valley.

And here around the bend a cluster

of houses, and beneath the clouds I see

the mountains and the long lake’s gleam.



Sage Creek and green hills



Soft grassed hills, sage brush and cedar,

cottonwood in the gullies by the slick green creek.


The kind of land we came from

when we descended from the trees:


watered, rooted, peopled with game,

the long look with no surprises.


Places to watch and places to hide.

Stars to tell the way.