The wind dies. Pines spike
cloud bands of white, deep azure blue.
Twilight gazing the hill’s horizon,
I slow my walking, consider
tracts of winter-lit forest,
unsettled drifts of dry leaves, randomness
of bird calls lacing phone line and fence.
I long for September rebirth,
hiker’s call to a border collie.
I snap a cigarette pack
against my palm, light a Viceroy.
Smoke lifts, I watch
across the waste of heritage land
as a burn-off shears a distant valley.
Past the stake of a Sale sign,
a realtor sits patiently, covetous
with contract and a certified check.

R.T. Castleberry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Steam Ticket, Vita Brevis, As It Ought To Be, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway, and Dissident Voice. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, the Philippines and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. He lives and writes in Houston, Texas. Read other articles by R.T..