Smoke lies in the deep valley
obscures the view of rice terraces
and bamboo stands on the steep
slopes clicking like the carapaces
of crickets in the light wind.
Day arrives with the mist and we
begin again, reaching through
the green spaces, seeking each
other’s fingertips, joined hands
mingled breaths: we are together
again on a quilt-padded wooden
platform. The sky clears through
the branches, we orbit our own sun
merge with the morning, joined
in a pool of silence, hidden away
in this farmer’s hut. We lie still,
satisfied with tiny gestures among
the branches. We will become one
by nightfall, immaterial absorption
with the green ponds, pale sky
hard bench against our hips.
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. Over 450 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. She is a Best of the Net and twice a Pushcart nominee. The natural world of the American West is generally her framework; she also considers the narratives of people and places around her. She is a retired teacher living in Oregon.