Oct 22

3:55 A.M.

3:55 AM and our alarm is going off—

not one of those with an unbearable ringing 
            but more of a slow (lapping) wave that
quietly finds its place at your side, 

            bidding you to rise 
            for the new morning.

Thirty minutes later and I’m finally unzipping 
my sleeping bag, exposing myself to the air 
that sits outside of my overnight cocoon: 

            the air that is cold enough 
                        to chill me down to the bone.

(It will always be difficult to adjust to these 
sudden changes in temperature.) 

But when I finally step outside the tent, 

            all that’s there to greet me is the 
            pitch black darkness of the sky 
            that cascades down over the pine trees

                        (their fallen, yellowed leaves 
            are scattered arbitrarily across the wet gravel)

& when I look upwards, the new moon (deep within 
her own changes) shines fiercely down onto my face. 

She wasn’t there before; 

(last night we gazed at Jupiter and Saturn 
as we delayed our inevitable leave, &  
I wished the moon had shown up too) 

            she must have risen while we slept, 
while the soft clink of heavy rain drops fell from 
the trees to the tent top, ringing out over and over. 

Now it’s 6 A.M. and we have the heater going in the car 
as we pull out of the now-empty campsite, which 
looks as if no one had ever even been to – 
                        it’s cold, clean, uninhabited. 

                                    This image bothers me until 
we get to the rocky seashore and the sight of the sun 
(pinks, yellows, reds, everything) hushes us – 

she has sneakily met up with us (all to 
to show off her incandescent rise into the sky) 

                        & we sit, transfixed by this beauty 
(the couple on the rocks ahead of us appears so close 
to the sun, like they are burning with love and happiness) 

            & I sit there thinking that 
I never want to leave, never want to face the changes. 

but it’s 6:50 A.M. and the sun is contentedly situated 
in the wide open sky 

            and we are leaving 

(& there is nothing I can do but follow the 
twists of this dirt footpath we are walking) 

and maybe this could be better, but 
we can’t stay here much longer if 
we want to remember this as a good thing, right?