Road Trip: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Road Trip: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

By Kristin Bryant Rajan

After a long night,
an empty stomach,
relentless winds,
sleeping on a stick,
hidden from your touch
by thick layers
of sweaters, sleeping bags, hats, and scarves,
I wake to light in Indiana.

Birds and squirrels
rustling through soggy leaves
atone for a tent that will not stand,
a toilet that will not flush.
The cold Midwest wind in early spring
building mountains of sand
can also blow away
the burdens of this journey.

I venture to the woods alone
crawling deep inside the morning darkness of this forest,
climbing hills that grip my thighs
and give me back my breath,
then bumbling down again,
struggling to keep pace with dumb feet
skipping, flying
hoping more than breakfast
to maintain always this momentum.

Running with the rhythm of birds’ songs
I find light and breath                                                                                                                                     with the sunrise.

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Kristin Bryant Rajan is a PhD in English, with a focus on Virginia Woolf, and an interest in the nature of identity in modernist literature. She currently teaches at a community college in Atlanta, GA and enjoys writing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Her writing can be found in: The Watershed Review, The Explicator, The Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, The Apeiron, the anthologies Moon Days: Creative Writing about Menstruation and Just A Little More Time: 56 Authors on Love and Loss, among others. She was chosen as a 2016 Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee. She finds writing to be an extension of her daily meditation practice, opening her awareness to the wonders of each day.

Featured image courtesy Kevin Spitta / CC