The Long Way

I usually took the long way
starlight or clouds low
or the moon waiting to rise
behind the rag edge of black trees
already the shimmer of it
on the blue black lake.

The long way around anywhere
along the creek
the river edge
the last fenced yard
at the edge of town
tall grasses gold gray
in the light of the town’s last streetlight.

The long way there
lost, they said of me,
deliberately.
Didn’t you want to come?
How could I say yes, I did
but there was a place where
the sidewalk stopped
and became a path
that curved away
into the gray woods.

The long way home, too
Weren’t you tired? they asked of me.
How could I say yes,
but the moon was waiting to rise
behind the rag edge of black trees
and the glimmer was upon the blue black water.

Copyright Kay Winter

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