Born in Perugia, Italy, a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and of Mills College (Oakland, CA), Simona Carini writes poetry and nonfiction and has been published in various venues, in print and online. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as an academic researcher in Medical Information Science. Her website is https://simonacarini.com
On the trail, slanted sun rays
marble rocks with shadows, night’s
coolness inhabits the alpine forest.
Snow covers the ground in patches
melting into rivulets.
A dead Sierra juniper stretches out sun-washed,
twisted branches. It will fall and fall apart into
soil supporting seedlings and flowers.
In the company of a dead tree, my fear of dying
dwindles to a small knot loosened by a deep
breath of pine resin-perfumed air.
The trail ahead is lined with wildflowers:
red Indian paintbrush, purple lupine, white
phlox, yellow mule’s ears. Above, the bold
blue of a clear summer sky—absolute,
I jump over running water, hear a rustling nearby:
a cinnamon-colored black bear waddles away.
The moment leaves before I am fully
aware of it. It will be a sweet
aftertaste—of sharp air, sunlight scattering
and a bear’s breakfast interrupted.
When a snow patch extends beyond my line
of sight, I turn around. Frog Lake appears,
sapphire ruffled by a breeze.
On the shore, I unpack worries about work,
deadlines, a mammogram’s date coming due.
I kneel down, drop them and let them float