Driving North

from Oakland, across the San Rafael Bridge,

through Novato, Petaluma, Santa Rosa,

Healdsburg, Cloverdale where lumber trucks growl,

t-shirts replace suits.

Then family names-Ukiah, Chitaka, Miti,

Bu-shay, Pomo, Hoopa- and I breathe again

heading home on winding ribbon roads.

My life is this simple.

I slough off city skin,

replace it with soft flannel, old jeans I keep

in my mother’s cabin,

sleep on a cot on the porch

and rise in darkness to bring in wood

to heat the stove, the kettle, the coffee pot.

With the first cup, I warm

my hands, watch light come up

over Hostler and Tish Tang ridges,

Rain Rock, then sun blaze

against Lone Pine Mountain, Big Hill,

Hupa Mountain, Sugar Pine,

Telescope Peak, Buck Buttes-

holy mountains,

world pillars,

home of gods.

With pole and creel I hike far

up Horse Linto Creek

to fish for trout the way my father taught.

My life is this simple.


By Sue Thomas–Manuscript: What Light There Is, What Air

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