The wind has twisted the tops of hemlock and fir;
cones and needles spatter the muddy path.
Rising from nearby chimneys: wood smoke and ash.
A cold mist washes my cheek and cattails stir
the breeze, climbing dried and broken reeds
while birdsong mixes swift, twitter, chit,
and swallows hide among the rosehip thickets.
My jacket snags on tangled arches, while beads
of dew fall from the vine. The year begins
anew. I thumb the cat-tongue underside
of a blackberry leaf, startled by its thorn.
One snapped branch divides our trail. The winds
have spun so little down. Despite the wide
weather warning, this time we missed the storm.
published in Poetry Northwest
Carol Light has poems published in Narrative Magazine, American Life in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Literary Bohemian, Pacific Poetry Project, and elsewhere. In 2011 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, named a Writing Fellow with Jack Straw Productions, and received a GAP award for poetry from Artist Trust. She studied poetry in the MFA program at the University of Washington where she was awarded the Academy of American Poets prize. She teaches part-time at Olympic College and lives with her family in Port Townsend, Washington.