by Shelagh Cosgrove
Second Place Winner
I think how the woods are still
there an expansive floor of pine-needles
still celebrating here and there in yellow mushrooms
or white phlox the transforming light.
How the trail must be going up that same slope
all covered with maple, oak and beech leaves
in a riot of pinks, purples, reds.
I see even now, how that ceiling of greener leaves,
caught suddenly in the October breeze,
sends shivers through the hills air and foliage
a great glittering dance of
I hear our talk and laughter still
going up the hill, and something silent
beneath, like tendrils of vines,
connects our limbs,
moving as we have been for a long time
through patches of light and shadow.
we are back in our separate worlds,
a grown-up world of effort and pace,
yet I feel sure, in the silent interstices
between its rush and blur,
something lovely and green comes in
latching its tendrils to the roughest places,
healing and binding us just enough
to get us to the topmost ridge
where sky and water
the light we take with us
in all our faces.