The daylight dances against the porcelain and plywood.
Broken silhouettes of oak trees tattoo the walls in squares.
The morning rays are weak and bend.
They're my only window to the outside world.
I feel compelled to capture this moment and
feverishly begin memorizing everything
from the toilet.
I rush to my room for a pencil.
Outside my bedroom window the light is different.
The sky looks tired, dreary, as if it were late afternoon.
Now all I can think about is fall, and how the trees
will soon be weak outlines of the flesh they are now.
I get angry because I could've taken my time on the toilet
and can't control the seasons; the trees are going to change,
and I won't stay twenty-nine forever.
28 Years of Pressure
A brief look over my shoulder exposes
millions of years of heat and pressure
and the last eight hours of progress by trail shoes.
Four pounds of water sleeping idly in my pack,
and at my ever ready, eventually settle
into my lack of momentum.
I know that I've traveled a scientifically
measurable distance fading into the
backdrop of high desert behind us, but my heart has trouble
swallowing, with my back to who I will be,
once I regain momentum, but we press on.
They call this canyon grand.
We've stopped. The night is drawing.
The gully is silent, except for our hearts, the wind, and fear.
They drum out the songs left by the ancient Navajo.
We sign our own songs and tell our own stories as distractions.
We've come only as far as we have yet to go.
And the night is drawing nearer.
Solidarity with Colorado Cows
The run took me past lush pastures and big skies.
Twilight fast-approaching, the faint twinkling of stars
seen poking through the blue veil of atmosphere
still hiding the oncoming night.
I was alone, running along a vacant stretch of county highway
on an out-and-back course with six miles in mind.
I passed a couple of ranches full of delightfully curious cows.
One pasture in particular found me quite interesting.
Heading out toward the turnaround, several of the cows perked
their heads in my direction as I strode past,
and a few of them even seemed to stir and trot with me.
Were the gummies I ate from Ft. Collins responsible for this?
Heading back, it was no secret;
I was the evening's entertainment.
The entire herd began galloping,
calves, cows, and bulls alike.
They paced me for a half-mile,
mooing and periodically looking over at me,
as if to acknowledge our shared freedoms
under the boundless skies.
Chad W. Lutz was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1986 and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Haunted Waters Press, and in EcoWatch Journal. Chad currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource site and manages an online magazine called AltOhio.com. An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively and swims in his spare time. He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.