The woman runs in a grove of firs,
red warmups a contained flame
along the plotted corridors,
face a mask neither tame
nor wild, a static ecstasy.
Beyond the needled hush lies
a meadow with an oak tree;
a square white house justifies
the thin, deciduous, autumn light.
A tire swing gathers the sun,
leaves caught on its inner bight,
where her eyes fix as she runs, runs.
Something in her progress might
suggest pursuers or pursuit,
but not the barest hint of flight;
only an air of resolute
abstraction, cool, suffering
suffused with eagerness, disdain
for what the next strides will bring,
as if pain or the end of pain
were waiting just beyond the rows,
as if grief or the end of grief
might wait in the swing, the meadow,
be caught in the veins of a spun leaf.