Week 52: This is Rough Terrain

This is rough terrain
many feet have stumbled over roots,
over rocks—gotten caught in the weeds
and tall grasses. Ankles twist
and shatter in the uneven places. Bodies
have tumbled with boulders and stones
in avalanche down these slopes.
Harmonies of windsong and birdsong
mesmerize many wandering here,
sending happy lovers blindly over edges.

I know the dangers and so do you,
but here we stand, elbow to elbow,
and I can not help but reach over
to take your hand to squeeze,
and nervously,
in a moment that keeps on beating,
the geographies of our palms combine.

Author’s Notes:

52/52. I was thinking of doing a poem about endings, but I wrote a poem about beginnings instead and it feels a lot better.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ve accomplished with this project, but 52 poems is a lot. There are certainly some poems that I like more than others, and I really had to grind to get some published, but there are none that I can recall that I consider total failures. Reading through them, a few even feel like they’re beyond me—there’s something unrepeatable about them.

I’ll do a more definitive retrospective on the project after I’ve let it set for a couple weeks, but for now I’m proud to have a) actually have complete the project, b) to have produced work that I like, and c) to have developed a type of style that is somewhat my own.

I’m relieved to be able to take a break.

Favorite Line:
“in a moment that keeps on beating”

The Phrase that Sticks most Stubbornly in my Head:
“Ankles twist and shatter in the uneven places.”