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 Dissident Voice, Vita Brevis, As It Ought To Be, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway, and The River. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, India, the Philippines and Antarctica. Read other articles by R.T..