For a long time I felt
Guilty about the desire
To be alone.
My mother’s mantra of grandchildren
Like generations of elders with
Paper-thin skin steering my hips
Toward the human race.
Single, in nature,
Is a thing at which we would point
In awe. Snap photos, or touch someone
On the shoulder and breathe,
Look, isn’t it stunning.
One red wildflower in spring runoff.
One naked maple in a mown field.
Spotted Elk dead in the snow.
A native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Rebecca Pelky now lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana. She’s spent most of her life working as a zookeeper and wildlife dietician.