On White Oak Canyon || John Benevelli

I often hike the west ridge 
of White Oak Canyon alone, 
though everyone says I shouldn’t. 
By the slow push of wind and rain, 
that slope of stones is the only way now
to reach the upper falls,
where decades ago 
we’d make love for hours 
to the roar of rushing water. 
Now, I sit my old bones down 
on a dry rock and eat my small lunch.
The air looks full of bird song. 
And in the silence I reach out 
to our young bodies escaping
over the drop of white water.

Once, through the mist, 
I saw you walking towards me
like that lost mountain boy 
I met long ago – 
busted green coveralls, 
black mossy hair, 
wholly uncredentialed.
You took my half-broken hands,
and dancing over the amber current,
whispered in my ear of all your
tenderly wild wanderings 
high above the world of men. 

John F. Benevelli is an emerging poet who grew up in Bethel, Connecticut, a small town near the Connecticut-New York border.  His poems have appeared in The Perch and The Helix.  John lives with his wife and son in their Washington, D.C. home, which they share with their lovely black lab, Shenandoah.

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