This Life There are those who hike swiftly to the top, who take the shape of bent crosses, shoulders leaning forward, and others who drift among the ferns and moss, ghostly footprints, scarce patterns in the fronds and stalks. And there are people like me, who prefer to climb sideways and in all directions, noticing. We are the ones who think this is our work, in this body, to give attention to the mountain laurel and beneath it the dead leaves, fertilizer where the roots tunnel into this winter’s sleep. Let me reach the top gently and lay down my head on the welcoming rocks. Forget about my Sunday clothes, rings taken from my fingers, white hands folded over my chest. Don’t undress me for the crematorium, turning me to cinder and ash. Let me take my sleep here near the cave, this life’s sanctuary, where my cheeks freeze red to match the winter berries, and there is nothing left to fear.
Kristy Snedden’s life work is as a trauma psychotherapist. After a long love affair with words, she began writing poetry in June, 2020 and her poem, “Dementia,” was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (August, 2021). She has been taking classes at The Writer’s Studio since September, 2021.