“Beyond Nisqually” by Carol Sunde

I scuttle a cedar-spiced path

at the Refuge, more than a little wild,

scuffling leaves


where crisp breezes hula rose hips

and snowberries bead bushes,


imagining plover, goose,

and warbler engines

fueling migrations south,


as maples unclasp

autumn fashions, strip


leaf after leaf

to slither and glide

down trunk and limbs,


exposing intimations

of what the future holds.

In bird chatter though,

I hear no dire portents


even as my inner ear corrupts

balance, the way of the upright

I thought I’d mastered:


occasionally I lurch sideways

like a coot with a tired body

hell-bent on staying vertical

until it’s time to rise heavenward.

Carol Sunde, born and raised in Iowa, now lives in the fishing-tourist village of Westport, WA and loves being in the PNW. Since retiring from a college counseling position (her degree is an Social Work), she’s been exploring a life-long interest in poetry. Her work has been most recently published in Raven Chronicles and Passager.