After a good rain high, a hazy heaven claims
the foothills, bare oaks reach out of the gray
like skeletons of hobgoblins when all the wild

cats and dogs, the greater and lesser gods,
come close to our fires. It’s like a holiday—
their day-off to play any games they want,

anywhere beyond our eyes. Sometimes
they stray and fall out of the fog, or you
hear fuzzy pieces of their gleeful gatherings,

and it is comforting to know they thrive
like cattle in these many shades of gray.
How often have I felt a presence where

this canyon narrows, beyond your house
and hospitality in all seasons? By the fire
outside, you tell me how you and Baby came

in your leathers on your Harleys from the coast
twenty years ago and parked. You point
to a stand of young naked oak trees rooted

across the road, peeking from the moving
edge of heaven that is now hovering,
hanging ready to engulf us. I imagine

afternoon passion as you say, ‘over there
is the ground we wanted so to build
a home, but this is close enough.’

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