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  • write4hire

Oh.

Hiking into a Fearful Gratitude

















1. Gratitude …


rolls off the tongues of the well-fed

like a brand new Outback pulling out


of the Steve Lewis Subaru lot in Hadley

Massachusetts elbow out the window


smell of azaleas along Russell Ave you

and Son Volt singing harmony on Apple


Play a good meal ahead an IPA “love yas”

at the end of each call to your kids time time


enough health enough to ride a bike or if

you ever care learn guitar … Namaste, right?


Right. So easy to say when it’s easy to say


2. And yet sometimes Namaste …


gets caught in your throat even as you lumber along

on those Size 11 Merrell boots, no little cat feet for you


hiking to some blue Yellowstone hot spring, a warm

smile that goes along with all the unearned abundance


in your life, beautiful wife, kids, grandkids, mountains,

woods, the long front porch, stream, treehouse until


you see a luna wolf and her pups through a spotting

scope in Lamar Valley and you know instantly how it could


vanish in the sulfurous steam of a million atrocities floating

through the spring air, grizzlies pacing behind the ridge,


an avalanche on the high peaks, collateral damage

from a bet between a jealous god you don’t believe in


and a devil that smirks like a criminal in high office,

makes you wonder what Namaste will sound like


when the unspeakable gets spoken?


—SL, New Paltz, NY, June 2023


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