I’ve returned from the gym and worked for hours cleaning the lawn of branches, then raking and mowing and sweeping; Wolfie wants his long walk too. When we hit the woods together, my head feels as light and empty as a drained glass. I’m not thinking an anxious thing. Finally, I can just see, and what I see falls into me. The sky is a sharp-edged blue, a storm-cleansed blue. We climb the long hill up from the creek, walking out of shadow and into sunlight, and floating above the cut grass are dozens, no, more, so many dragonflies, catching the glint of light on their glassine wings, fading away with distance and then suddenly popping out close by, here, gone, here again. From atop the hill looking to the northeast I can see the high school where I taught, animated and whirring with its own end of season energy; once I could not bear to miss a day away from that wonderful, ever-murmuring place, and when I did, I followed the beat of the bell schedule from afar — now first period and Hamlet, now second and my at-risk kids…. I felt the pull of the place as if I were a migrating bird and always bound to follow the invisible magnetic fields back to my home ground. Not anymore though. Other geographies now tug at me, and I am happy to let go and fly towards them.
© Mike Wall
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