Taking the Long Way Back
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.