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June 17, 2024


By Richard D. Hartwell


Coastal fog slips over a ridge before dawn,
slithers through and around the tall firs,
slides down the eastern slope, insinuates
itself into the farms in the broad valley, and
envelopes barns, coops, homes, and fences
with a smoky gray mist, wetting the raw,
weathered planks and rails one more time.

Patches of wild mustard bow before fog and
dew; morning redthroats and quail skim
on and between ground and lowered sky;
earth spins and the eastern horizon dives
under the rising sun and heats the new day;
mist-dimmed, dripping, the newly baptized
come into focus as silvery tongues recede.

Restored from the ground up, structures
steam in the warming day as wraiths of
white and gray start to climb the trunks of
redwood and fir, reappearing like flying
buttresses bearing up patches of bluing sky;
the newly anointed valley stirs to life and,
salved with the light, sins of the night vanish.

Article © Richard D. Hartwell. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-07-10
Image(s) are public domain.
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