Atop a Sloping Hill

Atop a sloping hill,
at the end of a gravel road,
can a new life start here?

A watercolor painting,
an ekphrastic poem,
an essential oil healing remedy,

A glimpse at new stars above,
or stars new to me,
almost older than eternity.

I never expected solid ground
under my feet, rock
more ancient than humanity.

It surprised me, like a lot does
in my life, what’s sitting here
a couple billion years.

As I never dreamed of
becoming a yoga instructor,
an aromatherapist,

A painter, always living
in the same place, and until now,
I am all these things.

Torrents blow, oaks sway,
instances change in an instant,
one second yes, the next no.

One moment, let’s go,
another,
I can never.

But didn’t I dream
of bearing an accent mark
in my otherwise Celtic name?

To someday find matching initials
like C.C. Rider
in that song “Jenny Take a Ride?”

To embrace a Latin lover
like the lily-colored lady did
in the movies?

To have an Asian grandson?
All of the above
came true.

I envision my future at the current moment,
only a blank, but peaceful screen
arises before me.

Or is this
the endless sky above me,
atop a sloping hill?

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Cynthia Gallaher

Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago-based poet, is author of four poetry collections, including Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices (The Poetry Box, Portland, 2019), and three chapbooks, including Drenched (Main Street Rag, Charlotte, N.C., 2018). The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets.” She is a WCDH alumna. See links below.

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