Clarissa Adkins

Nature Hike at Ship Harbor Nature Trail

Go, knock through wood-thunk roots of the forest floor
while your own springs branch your own tree
and believe Earth’s soily preparations:
foliage backdrop of dark wet sedges,
hush-green, nearly-ripe, wild patch hummocks,
red leaves scalloped by zig-zag and smooth,
and your ache that ferns can soften sun
into such a lenient lantern.

Exhale to pine-ocean music when inhales are sweetest,
cross needled mist to mossy stretches near marsh,
feel a foot wedge freely between the veins for safe leverage.
Here, be too old,
and here, be too young,
to wonder, if anywhere, ever,
there was a nature hike beyond nature.


Clarissa is a co-author of “Chair Yoga for You, a Practical Guide.” Her flash fiction appeared in Nailpolish Stories: A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal and her poetry in Writers Against Prejudice. Currently, she is working on her MFA in poetry with Lesley University’s low-residency program in Cambridge, MA. Clarissa teaches yoga and high school English in Richmond, Virginia.

Poetry matters because it can uniquely express how we are together in our aloneness. This depth of connection is an endless comfort.