The Last Roll cover


The Trees of Miller Road

We walk to the river overlook,
and yesterday’s snowstorm, partly melted,
shows through the forest
the trees
set apart, arranging themselves;
limbs hung with
languorous precision in the
V’s of other trees.

One fell from grace,
collapsed from the
bridge’s barricade,
the homemade handrail,
tumbled to a
cold, sodden perch
on rocks in
the fast-moving stream
growing lichen,
waiting for
spring rain to wash it
down river.

On the walk back, slow-paced,
breathing in time with his
labored steps beside me,
I widen my view from
its downcast gaze at
the river’s run around
the big rock island,
just past the bend.

Two tree trunks show us
their skirts as they lie
in the rocks, soaking in the
pale March sun,
reveal everything freely
in their toppled states;
the roots, splayed-out
skeletons of their former
upright lives.

Walking further, the bushes
wave their first seed pods,
(I could swear they were waving,
laughing at us,) “We’re coming.
This cold will end.”

Then, just ahead, through
the mountain pass,
our home and studio,
light blue, dark blue,
fill both sides of the road.
Just beyond our bedroom’s eave,
the transparent cone of the huge
red maple, shapely,
sap rising, guides
us home.