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Taking the Long Way Back

Michael Shoemaker

I trekked out in a flurry beating hot thin dust

on the trail burdened with the swiftness

of worry and pretense.

On the way back there will be no such error.


I will take time to lean on the old picket fence

and stare at the far distance of the mist rising

above the hills counting my brothers the quail

bolting from the trees

to lie on the cool damp ground in the meadow

tasting the tang of wild raspberries

looking up saluting the bottom of daisies

listening to the musical consonance of bees

that must also breathe in the sweet smell

of the graciousness of grasses

to sit in playing light and shadow

almost like a laugh by the brook

with feet immersed

in cold brisk liquid-



You ask me

how to live,

this is how.




Michael Shoemaker is a poet, writer, and photographer. His book Rocky Mountain Reflections will be published by Poets’ Choice Publications in November 2023. His poems are in anthologies at Central Texas Writers Society, Poetica, and Pure Slush. He lives in Magna, Utah, with his wife, son and cat.

Photo Credit: Michael Shoemaker, "Daisies by the Fence"

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