All week the industriousness of others pawed
your window, pets let in and out, out and in.
Some days it is all you can do, reducing mountains
of laundry to rubble. Years ago, backpacking a spine
of peaks strung like clothesline across this state,
you learned how to move for days looking down.
Learned the lie of ascent, its mirage of summits.
The way an empty riverbed mulches underfoot.
Kneeling beside the puddle, a definition of thirst.
How the body overrides, wants what it wants.
This plodding you’re doing now, out to the shed,
the mower gasping a disappointed resuscitation.
Gus Peterson lives in Maine, where he writes and serves on the board of the Maine Poets Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a love and practice of poetry for all Maine residents. He has been featured online in Rattle’s Poets Respond series, in the U.K. with Black Nore Review, and is forthcoming in print with Pirene’s Fountain in 2023.