The beginning of her day
is when the morning
becomes the early afternoon,
and the yellow leaves have gathered
at the base of all the trees.
The shadows cast
were always stronger this way, and
the contrast between everything was greater
than the need to simply see
the empty corners of the room.
She waited on a wooden bench
for her friend
out on the preserve
where different people
looked for ways to stand apart
from all the noise they left behind.
When they met
they found a walking path
and talked about
their mutual acquaintances
and how they fell in rank
with all the others.
Their shortcomings came up
and were derided with advice
they wouldn’t listen to
if given it directly.
There were always hills
in her background
ever since she first walked
out on those fields
where the roots
went so deep they wrapped
around the center of the world.
There are no overlooks
in this place
where people follow orders
that they study
written darkly on their hands.

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