I walked in the woods today
far under scattered clouds —
though it didn’t make me a boy again.
No dog by my side
circling ahead and back,
no sense of wonder at where I might emerge.
Patches of snow from an indecisive December
lay astride the path and filled in hollows.
Straining for the distant sound
of my mother’s voice
calling me in from play,
I heard only birds calling.
Nearly a month from moment to paper, when everything but renunciation seems a struggle.