To Fly

Has it been three years since last we kissed?
On Carterís Knob I look down and see the wind,
Barreling through the valley trees,
Squeezing the shoulders of the winding stream,
Evoking itinerant ghosts who dream in shades of green,
Shape-shifting in the morning mist.

Remember how we loved this mountain wide and high,
Each summer climbing the meadow bridge,
Picnicking atop the highest ridge,
Marveling at the nesting eagles, regal in the douglas fir
At the edge of the two-mile gorge.
We gazed at them and wondered how it is to fly.

Then one year when we returned,
We saw one bird, disconsolate, alone, circling,
His grieving song echoing on the mournful wind
Down the mountainside riding on the rain.
We never saw that bird again.
Such is life when love is spurned.

You and I nested on the valley floor beyond,
Forty acres and a jersey cow,
I loved you then as I love you now.
My heart sang but I know somehow
That your heart never quite learned the tune.
Then one June I looked up and you were gone.

The grief wells up like smoke persists,
Filtering up the hillsides before a storm,
Until at last it strangles out the sun.
The lone eagle circles and circles and then is gone.
Here I sit on this granite outcrop making out our home,
Barely visible through the ever present mists.

Three years is far too long to cry.
Slowly, I stand and walk to the edge of space,
Beyond the eagle tree and face the reality
Of life spent circling above this place
And in this moment acquire the grace
To end my wondering. I will learn to fly.

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Eagle soars in the mountains

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