Now the earth slides faster down
the long dark days towards Solstice.
We’ve been flung
almost too far from the center,
skidding violently along
the curve of space.
presses me flat against the rocks,
among the dried debris of summer.
Blackberry canes snarl my hair;
faded petals or leaves,
compressed beyond recognition,
cling to my lips and eyes.
Oh, it’s a long slide
down to the Solstice.
But we shall be tugged sunward at last on gravity’s leash: a cosmic crack-the-whip.
We’ll hit the corner flying
and careen round into who knows
what great wind of passage.
Even I may be blown clear out of this cave, clean onto my feet.
Lifting my arms to layer upon layer of translucent color cupped to Earth’s curve, I’ll feel the thrust of the planet beneath my feet. Gulping air straight from Arctic floes, I’ll raise my face to the icy stab of Orion’s sword and roar for Joy.