Morning dawns ruddy, streaks of crimson bold against blue.
Sailors take warning, a red sunrise signals bad weather ahead.
But there is dew lading the grasses til the blades bend
Earthward with the weight of diamond drops.
No rain crow calls mournful counsel midst the chorus of bird voices.
Not all signs can be believed; even nature does not agree on what this day will bring.
I walk with no umbrella.
Other travelers left their marks in soft muddy reminders of yesterday’s shower;
A deer’s cloven hoof, and not far behind a smaller one of the same shape, a visible echo
Of its young and anxious maker.
Pink light edges a raccoon handprint, only one, as if the coon lit briefly on earth
Before ascending to the stars on his mythic journey to bring fire to his people;
Faintly the wind carries the memory of burning, as of ashes cold and old.
On my return I see the sole-print of my shoe in geometric, abstract mud relief.
A leaf nestles in the heel, bright red and yellow, a harbinger of the season
Steadily advancing, following fore-ordained signs as the hemispheres rotate slowly
To the future, to another time and place but here on this ridge
I am looking not up but down, tracing the signs of my own passing
And the clues left me to discover
Where it is I have been and where I must go.
I will not hurry.
Fine print requires careful reading.