Towering hemlocks
surround an emerald pasture.
A small barn sits on the eastern end
with bleached wood siding,
contrasting the shadow of the forest edge.
On the western end, a small cottage
opens to its own quiet darkness.

Two inhabitants – a palomino, wild and contented,
and a girl, day-dreamy and assured.
They spend their days riding, discovering, pretending
under the spell of the damp forest breeze.

In spring, the pasture fills with daffodils;
in summer, the edge of the forest gives life to roses,
     hydrangeas, and blueberries;
in fall, the trees take over, creating a cathedral
     of reds and golds over the small clearing
     behind the barn;
in winter, all is silent and white,
     tiny winter hollies dotting the snow banks.

The girl tends her mare, and the mare her,
without stopping to cook or sew or plan —
except as induced by some mystical, joyous art;
idleness is plenty
(though never overwhelming);
neither gets so much as the sniffles.

One day, the girl comes to realize the barn needs repair.
Employment appears —
     but not anything unpleasant or inconvenient —
     someplace in town with nice people,
     who let her be.
Another day, she comes to realize it would be good
     to have a child.
The mare becomes pregnant and delivers a foal.
Soon after, a small child appears on the cottage doorstep.
The circle enlarges, but in a constrained way
that does not upset the texture, the rhythm.

It is all as it should be:
a life of simplicity, ease, beauty,
perfect kindness.

I am old now
with the harsh winds upon me,
but I hold this picture