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  • I (sometimes, fleetingly) visit a future
    Where someone asks
    Why did you leave?
    And I answer with confidence
    And clarity
    And sound reasoning
    Emboldened by the feeling I (sometimes, fleetingly) possess
    And the logic I don’t

    Late in the winter evening
    He rushes in, panicked
    She’s gone. She’s gone!
    I scramble for snow boots, barn jacket
    Wooly hat, mittens, flashlight

    We find where the fence went down
    Follow the hoofprints in the snow
    Wander in loops
    Walk along paths
    Work up a sweat
    Wonder where
    Wonder how long
    Wonder how far

    After a time I crumble to my knees
    In laughter, in tears, in exhaustion
    She just couldn’t do it anymore
    Being confined in that pasture
    Unable to go as far as she can see is possible
    So she finally busted out, she's running free!

    But he’s not having it
    My playful poignant passion
    He’s tired and irritable
    And worried she has gone deep into the forest
    Or headed for the dangerous road
    He doesn’t want to be at this all night
    Damn he should have checked that fence
    Damn he should have paid better attention
    Damn he picks up his pace

    The hoof prints lure us uphill and away
    Away from the worn path
    Away from the house and barns
    Away from the ponds and gardens
    Away from the place of this place
    Into the shadows of her unknown

    Finally. There.
    Two eyes glowing at the edge of the woods
    Framed by her wooly winter profile
    Quietly grazing on the new-to-her grass
    Poking through the freshly fallen snow
    She is not restless
    She will not flee further
    She just looks up as if to say:
    Why, if you were me, wouldn’t you?

    And he leads her (patiently, reassuringly) back to the barn.
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