Afternoon walk, mid-November

by Katie Murchison Ross

It gets dark so early these days.

And we needed to get home,
after the creek
and the climbing the hill
and the stomping on a storm drain
and the dawdling,
especially because you refused to take a nap today (and most days)–
and dinner becomes a meltdown 
if it starts too late.

But there were a hundred birds,
a thousand birds,
flooding our sky,
heading for warmer parts.

And so we stayed there, you and I,
cheek to cheek,
your eye twinkling
my heart exhaling
as they came,
more and more and more,
for minutes that were spacious as hours.

And then looking skyward you began to sing,
“For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies”–

and you wrote a poem in my head.

Katie Murchison Ross is a writer and pastor in Springfield, VA. Writing is her favorite way to think; she is interested in exploring the great tensions in life: between pride and vulnerability, doubt and hope, exercise and chocolate chips. More of Katie’s writing can be found at