Twenty-Six Soon

There is a surge of excitement as I reach the crest of the hill. That moment I see my mountains and it’s home, and I’m seventeen again. And round shapes are deep blue against the light blue sky, growing green, green, greener as they slip in and out of my peripheral as I drive.

There’s road works. No, construction. A detour. This side road is thin, and beaten, and suddenly I’m in Wales, but no I’m on the right, and a 98 Cadillac is far too large to be squeezing between hedgerows.

I’m twenty-five.

Round the corner, there’s that view. Same view. I’m nineteen, it’s cloudy and I don’t care. I need to be here. Bee balm. Queen Anne’s lace. Poke Berry. Daises. Raspberries. Weeds. Drive on your own side of the road.

I’m twenty-two, and the signs are up now. Telling me where not to park, where to walk, where to fish. Favourite spot’s gone. Favorite spot's gone. There’s some geese, a beehive. The spillways are open. It occurs to me that I should look up the meaning of Quemahoning.

“Water issuing from a lick” A lick, a spring, the slick mud paths. Rain. The Native Americans, the Druids, the Romans, the Celts. I’m twenty-five.

I’m twenty-five.

Twenty-five.

Twenty-five.

And fall is almost here. Summer’s flowers are fading, and fruit is starting to form. Apples ripen on trees I don’t recall. There is a brand new bridge, but the water looks somehow deeper now.

Appalachia? Cymru?

I'll be twenty-six soon.

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