listening to the old music from years ago
remembering when it all meant something
trying not to cry
but the pipes dragged the tears over the dam
harmonies hurting my heart
all that beauty vanished
when the cliff crumbled
everything turned to dust
I tried to count my blessings
but for every one there was a
everything I learned was pain
and it’s just not enough
I went out walking that late morning,
the lure of spring’s sun irresistible,
the voice of the mountains
leafed in new green notes calling to me.
I had no particular destination,
wanting only to shake off
the shackles of a hard winter,
and striking off the paved road
into town walked down an old dirt road that led to the foothills.
Loving spring’s scent and the birdsong
I sang too, that old tune about
wild mountain thyme.
Not a halfmile in I heard the rumble of a bike
and turned to watch it come, spitting roaddust And winter’s leftovers in its wake.
I didn’t know the rider.
He stopped a bit ahead of me and waited.
Perhaps I should’ve been afraid
but wasn’t – I’ve lived here all my life.
Things are peaceful.
He smiled and said hello.
I smiled and answered the same
and saw he wasn’t really waiting.
He took a toolbag out from somewhere and adjusted something needing some adjusting.
Then the motor roared and he was off,
waving as the woods swallowed him up.
I walked my walk and the way
the mountains looked that day
made me want to cry, so beautiful in their silent majesty.
It’s graven in memory, along with
the stranger on the bike.
I never saw that man again,
but haven’t forgotten how the light –
sunglow filtered through the forest –
shot diamonds from his steelblue eyes.
I remember – still – his hands,
how capable and sure as he put the bike to rights.
Sometimes I wish I’d ridden off with him,
but then I wouldn’t have these untouched memories;
they’d be something else entirely.
This way it’s perfect – and how many things
in this flawed and forlorn world ever are?
RC deWinter’s poetry is anthologized in Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, April 2019), Havik (Las Positas College, May 2019), Castabout Literature (Dantoin/Hilgart, June 2019), The Flickering Light (Scars Publications, June 2019), Pointed Circle (Portland Cascades Community College, June 2019) Nature In The Now (Tiny Seed Press, August 2019), in print in 2River, borrowed solace, Boulder Weekly, Genre Urban Arts, Gravitas, In Parentheses, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, Night Picnic Journal, Pink Panther Magazine, Southword, and appears in numerous online literary journals.