i never really wonder where she goes for those indeterminant amounts of time. perhaps she finds a dry barn or maybe even some strange warm couch where she is cared for by some family that notices when she disappears as quietly as she came. maybe she's spent nights sitting next to an old man and listening to him talk about making dandelion wine out of the yellow spring weeds. as he falls asleep in his feather-stuffed chair, moved from house to house as age drew him further from the town and into the now warm colors of maples and oaks. she had to cross the stream just downhill from his small house of wood and stone. if time could unwrap the additions and scales of plaster is would expose the family mill that once produced the linseed oil that fueled a coachman's latern as he cut through the fog and chill air on his way to the covered bridge. the stars this far from town are brighter and sharper in the cold that is just on the side of uncomfortable but not enough so to keep a young man from traveling from one constellation to another. he waits for her to come back but knows she's safe. she blends with the dark like only one of nature's creations can. she is stately and sleek and knows enough to take her time coming home and enjoy the scenery before it all falls down. her home will be here, if a wanderer can ever truly have a home, an anchor for memories and a spirit that would otherwise float away into the night fog and wander forever.

my love for her is simple. i do not question it, and she always returns to my arms with a calm as if she had never left, or only an afternoon had passed since we were last together.

she was found by the side of a creek, where her calls drew two young boys to find her. she was wandering in the tall weeds. lost? who knows. she had sounded like a bird, but she fought like a trapped aminal when they carried her home.

sometimes she looks at me, content and strong, but eager for affection, soaking it up in large doses when she's here. she's by no means perfect, but she does not know it. she reaches for me when i turn from her.