Tuesday 8 February 2022

The Cloud

by Melanie Choukas-Bradley

The clean smoke of the cloud
Drifts over and through us
As it starts to rain
Like a sideways kiss
Little more than mist

We are back in the mountains,
You and I, after forty years gone
And I am seized with a fever to climb and explore
And never go back to the city

We are old but still sure-stepping over root and rock
Tell me, have we come home?

I knew you were the one for me when I lay down in the snow,
Behind this house,
Age 21, temperature: zero
And instead of calling out my craziness
You lay down next to me
And we stayed side by side watching the clouds
Drift over the high peaks

Back from a graduation trip to Greece
You met my plane in Montreal
And we couldn’t keep our hands off each other

That was another knowing
Followed by the best sandwich ever
On thick white bread with butter
That you made and handed me on the back porch steps

I knew for certain then that we were home
Are we now?

* * * * *

Melanie Choukas-Bradley grew up wandering the woods of Vermont. She is the award-winning author of seven nature books. Melanie lives near Washington, DC where she leads nature and forest bathing walks for Smithsonian Associates and many other organizations. She is author of City of Trees, A Year in Rock Creek Park, The Joy of Forest Bathing and, most recently, Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island and Resilience: Connecting with Nature in a Time of Crisis. Melanie has been a longtime contributor to The Washington Post and frequent guest on NPR and its affiliates. She began writing poetry during the pandemic.

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