Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Snow soothes the wounds of footprints
on Saratoga’s most tolerant cleavage;
she savors brief icy camouflage
while subtly archiving each heart-circle veteran.
She’s seen so many now harried, now happy humans
trudge, run, skip and limp along her trails;
no other cozy canyon ever felt half this weighty human cargo
nor soothed such heart-felt tears of grief and joy
in mineral water’s sulfurous steam.
Saratoga holds us with equal graciousness
be we spry or cane-dependent, jovial or grumpy;
she stores inviolate our shares and indiscretions
asking only, through her stewards, mindful use of land and water.
Coyly rich in hidden history, both animal and plant,
Saratoga never upstages; she is glory understated;
she’s hard to know, nay impossible
for those forgetting to gaze at her in quiet.
She tends wounds with shade from time-gnarled oaks,
tempts the hormonally-hyped with paths to sensual abandon,
tests primate jocks with breathless treks to her crowning crests and
turns through the years many a head in tear-streaked departure.
For to tarry even a day or two at her curvaceous bosom
is to glimpse her in day-dream through a life-time
of unforgettable montaged foliar vignettes.
Saratoga Springs would seductively sprawl just as un-flustered
if her name were Native American, Spanish, or non-existent
for her charms have long transcended mere human monikers;
her brood is wily rodent, cagey quail, phantom puma, stoic deer.
We call her ours in but sweet delusion:
Her allegiance is solely Earth’s and Great Spirit’s.
We but sputtering finale in her lexicon of suitors,
cloaked in snow, kissed by rain, warmed by sun, or tucked in by night;
our thirst for Saratoga, like a mirage, shall hover always unquenched.
Newton Butler, December 2014
The land at Saratoga Springs features: