A Letter to Vermont

God I miss you

 

As I knew you

The expansive evergreens

Steaming sap

Soon to be syrup

Family waffle recipes

Their yellow pages crinkled

And sprinkled with flour

God I miss you

As mist rising on a lake unruffled

It’s twinkling glass

Refracting infinitely

The light of each new morning

An enigmatic loon

Disappears at the sense of watching eyes

It’s sublime and eerie voice

Shimmers across the water

And through me

God I miss you

As the burn of my legs

Trekking towards emerald crests

When sweat cools to chills

The summit’s intermittent gusting

Exposed at last to the grand view

Surrounded by a patchwork of farmland

The towns’ business unknown and unseen

God I miss you

As the greens dry into yellows

Electric in their autumnal joy

Surrounded by swells of orange and red

Pin cherry,

Beech,

Mountain ash,

Red oak,

And Maple

God I miss you

As the leaf littered Path

Russet with needles and acorns deconstructed

Steadily crunching through

Tunnels of bolstered trunks and branches

The covered bridge and rusting silos

A red barn in the distance

Stone walls sketching pastures forgotten

The bright white steeples amid fresh pines

God I miss you

As the first snowfall

It comes and melts away

Checked red and black wool coats

And the sting of not quite frozen rain

God I miss you

As the valley towns

Ageless and cozy

Each corner store and farmers’ market

Chocolate moose pies, deer droppings,

And little maple children

God I miss you

 

As Brick and ivy

Winding roads dispersing into foothills

Power lines professing to be trees

The sacred V of

Canadian geese

Alerting the seasons’ change

Turning the page with passage and song

God I miss you

As damp dark woods

Where only threads of golden sun

Stretch feebly to the mossy floor

White rivers weaving into clear streams

The brookies darting from the shadows

– Téo Chesney

 

Téo Chesney is currently living in New Orleans and is a student of the University of New Orleans’ Creative Nonfiction MFA program. He was adopted from Brazil as an infant but was raised in Southern Vermont. During his undergraduate studies at St. Lawrence University, Téo came out as a transgender man, which significantly altered how he considers the self and writing. Téo’s struggles with identity and belonging shaped much of his prose writing, while his active childhood in Vermont shaped his poetry. Téo has published works of fiction to CrabFat magazine, and the Paragon Journal, and one work of poetry to the St. Lawrence University undergraduate magazine The Laurentian.

 

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