Don't stop for the freight train parked,

where tourists take pictures on the state line,

instead turn right.

Let yourself be surprised by the flight

of a great blue heron, gliding beside us

or following the track to another stream.

Crossing the bridge,

bump on uneven pavement,

embody leaving the city.

Meander out into the country,

make an unplanned visit to an old neighbor

couple's grave, pink flower and cross.

Pass through unknown wild flowers

on road rutted on either side

some island.

Feel the flowers.

Smell them, a green scent -

soft. Proclaim it.

Let your dog run where there

used to be a trestle bridge.

Pick remarkable flat rock treasures. Buckeye sapling.

Now the road will have forks many.

Park at the old store and let your dog find water

in the creek by the wedding catalpa.

Here is a fork.

Go towards the nearest stray barn cat.

Hope she has a home.

Black kitty disappears into grasses.

Realize perspective.

Realizing you too disappear, around bends.

Pass a woman walking two black dogs

and imagine who she is. Guess.

Park by the river, Holston.

Walk and tune in to what you hear, flowing water.

There is a field of buttercups.

What is that a reishi mushroom?

Err on the side of caution, but smell that?

If a scent could be a miracle, it is.

A mixture of fresh air, humus, and something deeper.

Now let your dog know

you are going home

where your memory holds on to a phlox perfume.