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The Pines Stand in Pockets

The pines stand in pockets,
soft, fur-lined, so deep you can
scrunch your cold hands down into them,
warm them up.  You can scrunch
the rest of you down in, too:
nestle in,
maybe never emerge.
Here you pause,
gather your peace,
collect your bearings.
The pines will
guard your secrets in their silence,
a cathedral
of sorts, where you've come to
a prayer 
now that
time has
stopped ticking.

You weave noiselessly,
a carpet of tawny needles,
along trails the dimensions of deer.
Coyote doots thick with fur, whispers of a world
that woke while you were sleeping.

That world where the crunch of beech leaves would
betray you, disappeared the moment you slipped inside.

Thin columns of light
penetrate the evergreen canopy,
illuminate you alone, in
this world under blankets,
this moment of silent prayer for the
timeless present.

  -- Bald Mountain, North Carolina, Feb 2023


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