Sunday Morning Greenway

Sunday Morning Greenway   —by Jinny Batterson

(This entry was triggered ever so slightly by a memory of Johnny Cash’s lament, “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” but more recently by a local walk.)

A crystalline early autumn morning.
No clouds. The slightest wisp of breeze.
I set out along one of our local trails,
At first intent on raking off the layer
Of leaves and pine tags knocked
Loose by last week’s downpours.

Birds call to each other across the creek.
Squirrels chitter, scamper among branches, begin
Burying the season’s supply of acorns.


I’m admiring a recently power washed wooden bridge
When a boy, father, and dog approach.
The boy holds sturdily to the dog’s leash.
His pet drools slightly, strains to lick my hand.
The dad greets me, mouths encouragement
To his son, as they pass and we continue
Our mutual walks.

Some of the tract homes and
Apartments nearby give off aromas
Of bacon, ham, fried eggs,
And the faintest whiff of a first autumn
Wood fire in someone’s fireplace.

Every now and again,
Sounds and smells subside.

A vacant stretch—no other creature visible
In either direction. Only the cleared path
Beneath my feet, trees and clear sky overhead.
I lean my rake against an oak’s trunk
And drink in the temporary stillness,
Savoring the solitude of universal communion.


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