to appalachia, personal nature photography

On top of the world
the wind
whips gentle against my skin
shakes branches
at the peak
and moves
high mountain air
like a soft touch
of fingers
through my hair.
An investigative welcoming.
The dark
leafy greens
of Summer season
have replaced
the pale pastels of Spring
and I
survey it
like a birthright
from the ones who came before
to survive
and tame her
into fields
of fruitful labor
until she became
the shame
of tightly packed houses
and neatly manicured
postage-stamp lawns.
On top of the world
it’s quiet
and for a moment
I alone
own it.
While storms rage
ages away
the surroundings
deny it.
I am above it
and it’s quiet.
On top of the world.
I don’t want to leave it
this realm is not a puzzle
that needs finishing
and if it was
I’m not the piece
she’s needing
(no matter if she’s the peace
I’m pleading for).
I am an alien
too far displaced
from a home
my blood must have known
long ago
when the dirt of the earth
was in place
under bare foot
and hands
maneuvered deftly
up and over the bark
that now cuts through
cultivated calluses
I worked years
to earn.
A wide-eyed deer
suspiciously watches me
before bounding off
in a flight of fear.
The wind is a whisper.
She says
I am still a stranger
not good enough
strong enough
complete enough
serene enough
to be here.
It falls quiet
on top of the world.
I climb down
and go.

Jillian wrote this.

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