On The Prayer Trail in Ordinary Time Transfiguration Hermitage, 2021 My skis become my wings the snow my sky as I fly through it. My arms my legs reach, pull and kick as I draw one breath in, let one breath out, this motion on this first Sunday after Epiphany lifting me closer to heaven where I am touched by the radiance they say can be found there. Who cares now what I have left behind it is gone into the past where I’ve done what I could. Gone are the must do’s, what I could do, what I haven’t done to mend my ways or help with the troubles of this world. How I pity those who plod on snowshoes while I glide in this element part air made from what the sky has given of itself to lift me closer to heaven. Its jewels spread before me on snow sunlit all around the trees. Their dark bodies stripped of leaves or regal in evergreen offer their own silent witness to my body this gift I praise now steering itself between earth and heaven spilling out my bodily prayer, silent but for the scuff of skis across snow its blanket smoothed over winter ground otherwise ugly and barren but now given this icing most divine, most extraordinary.
Denise Pendleton is a recipient of The Jinx Walker Poetry Prize of the Academy of the American Poets. Her poems have appeared in the book collection, American Sports Poems, and various journals including Northwest Review, Tar River Poetry,Goose River Anthology and Kerning. Pendleton coordinates the local literacy program, teaches college writing and visits the sanctuary of her backwoods most every day.