Misty Mornings: inspired by Thoreau’s Journal

The air is filled with mist, yet a transparent mist, a principle in it you might call flavor, which ripens fruits. This haziness seems to confine and concentrate the sunlight, as if you lived in a halo. It is August.
—Aug. 29, The Journal of Henry David Thoreau


It only seems to gather for a moment, and
I become wrapped in it, like

the two waterfowl entwined over water—
the moment of an apple tree and mist


at the same time.

The image of apples falling.


There was a small apple tree in
my mother’s backyard

that grew for years. The bark was
twisted, gnarled, uncomfortable, from its

isolated position in the back-40.
The side facing the house was covered

in poison ivy.


Deer used to wrap themselves
around it, very early in the morning,

before the low, country fog was
swallowed by the sun.

They had a way of standing
behind it, positioned between

the tree and corn fields,

wrapping their necks around
the trunk, reaching for low apples—

though never those on the ground,
for they had long since drowned

in the wet grass, and pursued collapsing.


Very early one morning, I kneeled
by the house, and waited.

First, there were birds finding their way
into other trees.

Then the deer, two fauns,
collecting one apple at a time.

They were like pale shadows through
that low misty haze, not all there

like the nightly shadows, not fully
evaporated with the sun.

Before it was over, I watched their forms
fade back into the corn fields.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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