Reluctant Departure

by O'Hara

The hilltop is home to a grove of shagbark hickory trees. A man is sitting under one, against it’s trunk. A short distance in front of him, a squirrel is searching through the hickory, oak and birch leaves on the forest floor. Spent, rust and brown. The sun plays on the grey fur of the squirrel as it passes from sun into shadow and back. A faint look of wonder is on the man’s face. It dies a little when he notices the sun quickly falling behind the hill to the west. He looks down to the snowy trail in the shadowed valley. With a sigh he grabs his walking staff, and stands. A nuthatch scampers back up the tree above him. The squirrel moves off suddenly. The man moves off slowly, haltingly, to the path that leads downhill.

clasp collar closed
against winter setting in –
an owl glides through pines

wood's entrance

Joseph Casey, ©2013.


I don’t think I get to spend enough time out there in the woods.