The Close and Distant Valleys
Billy on the rear gate of the pickup truck with his ankles crossed above his boots and the cuffs of his jeans wet from walking through the new snow woods and his chainsaw resting on the floor of the forest, his elbows then resting on his knees and his chin then resting on the heels of his hands. Sitting up then and reaching his hands backwards past his hips and resting them there and settling his weight into the straightness of the bones of his arms and his shoulders. Slinging his head behind him for a stretch of the neck and stretching his ribcage and breathing deep that wetness of the forest, and returning to settle his eyes on the near and distant forest, and on the stark yellow patches of late season birch among the pines and the white-gray mottled clouds low in the sky, and layers of pine trees layered over the close and distant valleys. And his eyes on the distant valleys.
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