Photograph by Sander van der Werf/Shutterstock

All the Promise

The world opens up during a foggy morning run.


It’s April fifth, nine-thirty am—fog
tongues my forearms—gifts me with
small bits of silent weather, as I run
downhill on Milledge Circle.

Every March, spring slaps me across
the cheeks, and says breathe, as I crawl
my way out of the broken egg shell
of winter.

Like my brothers-in-law, the fog speaks
in alternating voices of coldness
and warmth, and I realize it’s been 
months since they asked me anything
about myself.

Running downhill, through muted
air, I hear each new leaf snap
open—gasping, red oak, chalk
maple, sweetgum—as they finger-paint
the breeze with newborn greens—
mint and lime.

Today holds all the promise
of a just-opened sapphire iris,
as I cross the street, reverse
course, and begin running back

Author Profile

Gary Grossman is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia and lives in Athens. His poems, short fiction and essays in have appeared in forty-seven literary reviews. His work has been nominated for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions and for the Pushcart Prize for 2023. For ten years, Gary wrote “Ask Dr. Trout” for American Angler Magazine. He is a lover of people, nature, productive gardens, fishing, and the ukulele. He has published two books of poetry: What I Meant to Say Was… (Impspired Press) and Lyrical Years (Kelsay). In 2023, he released a graphic memoir, My Life in Fish—One Scientist’s Journey (Impspired).

Leave a Comment