Beyond the paved two-lane with its solid centerline,
and bounded by NO TRESPASS signs;
beyond the turn-off onto gravel and the last barking dog
who keeps pace with my hubcap;
to a landing where I park my car and walk away:
no signs of ownership, no gate.
Just a path that skirts a swale; up to a clearing
fringed with black-oak blazing green.
I push through underbrush thick
with deadfall leaves, beyond where miners dug
and gouged and left it all behind.
Land no one has tamed.
Abruptly, I’m at the edge of canyon.
Far below, the river churns from upcountry,
down granite, grinding its way west.
No vineyard terraces, no homes with a view.
Just the wild lavender of distance
verging into forest viridian. Land owned by none
and everyone, where, if I watch my step,
I can still walk free.
Copyright © Taylor Graham