to see everything as new

stump-perched in a eucalyptus grove
i page through poems
while a tshirted and shorted runner
asks
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

_______

today
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