Woman, Walking

Toti O’Brien

So the secret of the descent was
momentum—that she borrowed from trees,
especially those with limbs pendulous,
the most permeable
to the wind.

Was to let energy converge
towards the inner thighs, sense
how femurs turned out like shutters,
opened up like a pair of butterfly

Her pelvis took the lead, torso
resting softly over hips, head
over the torso. Space gave in
to her steps as if by its own will,
offering no resistance.

The lake was a parenthesis—
eyes barely brushing
the exploding blue,
small fish biting
her toes.

The climb asked for something else—
a quiet steadiness. The humility of parsing
and parceling distance, the awareness
of air coming in, let out, the comfort
of landmarks.

Especially, tall trees—
those with straight limbs,
ascending—the sturdiest,
the least lenient
to the wind.

Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She is the author of Other Maidens (BlazeVOX, 2020), An Alphabet of Birds (Moonrise, 2020), In Her Terms (Cholla Needles, 2021), Pages of a Broken Diary (Pski’s Porch, 2022). 


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