Even after I turn off the radio
there is a red voice below my gut
that repeats, “You should be very afraid.”
Out the passenger window
I see three elk bedded down
in the snow beneath a spruce,
and then I am past them,
looking up valley at the mountains
where the wind blows the snow
in long white curls off the peaks.
I want to return, I think,
to a different chapter—
but I don’t believe it.
There are no fewer opportunities
now to fall in love,
and there are a whole lot more
chances to be of service.
I tell myself I was born
for exactly this life—
born to see the frosted cottonwood trees
on the valley floor
flood with the low light of morning,
born to meet the fear in my gut
and carry it with me to do brave and beautiful things.