In Case of 
Emergency

By Matt Steel
1 Jul 2016

In case of emergency,
get out into living air,
get up between budding trees,
get down among bluebells
some spring afternoon
and gulp the green and silence and breeze
like a deer dying of thirst, like a man
dying of asphalt. Get drunk. Get gone.

Some thoughtful old steward
in tan dungarees came here before you
and labeled a few trees, breathed love
into their wooden hearts,
underlined their uncommonness, gave them
mythical names like Shagbark, Bitternut, Chinquapin.
Every bole now an eye, every leaf now a hand
raised in praise.

Walk a few more miles
then stand still in a clearing
under a freshet of warmth.
Let bullets of sunshine thump
right through you, leaving you breathless
and nameless, gut-shot,
light-riddled, joy-soaked
and free. Free as you’ll ever be.

Next story: Mantra

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