December Sunday Walk

Sunny and mild weather for a walk through the woods;
jubilant cotton puffs in the blue sky,
green clouds laden with cones top slash pines

Violet beautyberries, saw palmetto leaves
swamp bay and ironweed, landscape this community,
home to the squirrel treefrog.

I share this time with barely another creature to be seen,
though occasional droppings tell me that some have been near;
nocturnal, I’m hoping, as my wonderment holds a touch of fear.

Exiting the woods, I follow a prairie trail
where orange sulfur butterflies
sail over a carpet of lavender stars.

There I meet two walkers who
are as thrilled as I to have
spied the giant gopher tortoise

No others appear besides
in this perfect place of worship;
a congregation of white peacock butterflies
quietly recite the service.
By Karen Bressner