Second Thoughts
by Marti Noel

Each year, pausing mid-life,
She returns to the spot
And the thought that
Brought her there; to
Recall with diminished
Intensity what collective
Perplexities confounded
That departing wish.
Standing on that blind
Corner, up a steep pitch
Behind the pendulous pine,
A driver unsuspecting, with
No time left to deflect
The shadowy flicker,
The free falling arc...

So many years later she still
Digresses, living by a
Shallow well of hope and
Will, built on the reverse
Trajectory that inexplicably
Pulled her away from
That spot and that thought;
Up the sharp slope
Toward the rocky top,
Exposed and open,
Where she could look up
Into a milky stew and
Count perhaps a few lucky stars.

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