The sun drops below the hills.
It’s time to leave the broad waters of Laurel Fork
and follow the sounds of rushing water
paralleling the muddy dirt road lined with mountain laurel.
Reaching Hereford Road,
the mare in the pasture looks up from her hay
and gaits over to the fence.
I rub her head and she presses tight against my hand,
but only for moment as the first stars appear.
I lengthen my stride,
and pass the intersection with Dusty Trail.
I start the steep climb,
following hairpin curves out of the darken hollow.
where shadows of bare tree limbs
illuminated by a waxing gibbous moon,
slouch across the road like arthritic fingers.
The afternoon wind has somewhat settled,
yet I hear the squeak of a widow maker in the woods,
and a truck in the distance,
grinding gears as it climbs Highway 58
Halfway up, the enchanting sound of water
Setting out on a journey propelled by gravity,
That begins in the hillside springs, and destined, eventually,
for the Gulf, disappears.
Then the road levels and the canopy opens
Bright Sirius of Canis Major appear high overhead,
the dog of the winter sky, jumping with joy,
as he follows his master, Orion, into spring.
To the west, just a tinge of red remains of the fading day.
Along the horizon, the lights of homes perched on hills,
appear to twinkle like stars
when watched through the trees while walking.
Picking up my pace,
I pass the Primitive Baptist Church,
the old one room school,
Bear Creek Road and the cemeteries.
A few minutes later, I’m home.
Opening the door, into the light and warmth,
my own dog, despite nursing a sore leg,
jumps with joy. jg 2-23-2021