to see everything as new

stump-perched in a eucalyptus grove
i page through poems
while a tshirted and shorted runner
pardon me
i always touch this tree stump at the end of my run
do you mind if i touch it
to which i respond
absolutely not
to which he responds with gratitude and tells me
how he used to touch this tree
back when it had limbs reaching off its tall trunk


the commitment
to see everything
as new
as if for the first time
as if traveling through


blanket lounged

i elbow-prop
penning in print and cursive
while the park worker pulls up
says something about enjoying a sunny california day
and wishes me a happy new year
sleeveless tee and shorts
in early january