It doesn’t matter
if hard choices were made,
if you traveled light, swallowed pride,
overcame fear stuck in your throat,
or took on others’ shame.
There is that place between stages,
age crawling reticently
towards life’s finish line,
and your haunting ache to make the grade.
Not unlike Thoreau
leaving his Walden woods
for the reincarnation into other lives,
to build ladders to castles in his sky,
you wish to banish
your exhausted annals for good.
Because you still want the bloom
to break through the snow.
You crave the sun to lift
and challenge the moon,
to risk your course
through the beech’s budding branches,
through the forest’s nebulous edge,
into another uncharted adventurous phase.
Gail Grycel travels solo, with several pairs of dancing shoes and hiking boots. Her writing responds to the details of place—inner and outer landscape, and has been included in Vermont's PoemCity, Anthology of Women's Voices by These Fragile Lilacs Press, Writers Cafe Magazine, S/tick Magazine, and Burning House Press. When not on the road honkytonkin’ to Texas two-step bands or hiking in the high mountains of the United States, she lives in her self-built straw bale home and works as a custom cabinetmaker and teacher of women.