The gnarled fingers of the beeches
knit themselves in prayer overhead.
They hold off the rain,
which whispers its discontent.
I step in your tracks,
fending off that old anxiety.
Home is so far away:
a warm hearth, a rocking chair,
a tumbler of amber Scotch,
an end to a long day, a long path.
The evening draws its weight
over my shoulders.
We’ve all come this way,
with our packs, or staves,
useless all against the journey,
heavy, awkward, and in the end,
abandoned: years, ancestors.
Ahead the holloway stretches,
and we are blind,
until suddenly the trees fall away,
and we are birthed
into we know not what.


Anne Britting Oleson has been published world-wide.  She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM.  She has published  two novels, The Book of the Mandolin Player (B Ink Publishing, 2016) and Dovecote (B Ink Publishing, 2017), and three poetry chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007), The Beauty of It (2010), and Alley of Dreams (2018). A third novel, Tapiser, will make its appearance from B Ink in March 2019.