Grief Poem While Hiking

by Courtney LeBlanc

~for Farrokh

~after Ashley Steineger

I’ll call you soft breeze murmuring through the trees. I’ll call you black snake streaking through the undergrowth, water tripping over rocks. I’ll call you dragonflies darting across leaves. I’ll call you the fallen tree that blocks the path, that wasn’t there last week, that I climb over, scraping my tender skin across the gnarled bark. I’ll call you moss and mushroom, the skink that darts away so quickly I only catch sight of its electric blue tail. I’ll call you faded yellow blazes on trees, I’ll call you stream water cupped in hands, mouth gulping hungrily. I’ll call you birdsong. I’ll call you spiderweb caressing the skin, sun sprinkling through the canopy. I’ll call you honeysuckle perfuming the air, the quiet that surrounds me four miles in. I’ll call you initials carved into smooth bark, wild violets, and snake berries, the bright red the perfect shade for lips. I’ll call you the fork in the trail, the left looping back around or the right to keep going. I’ll keep going.


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.



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