Sunrise Hike at Weldon Springs Conservation Area

Hannah Dains

Maybe god is in the fingers of sunlight

that reach through the branches

before the sun itself has risen,

something I can see with my eyes half closed

as I am falling asleep sitting against a tree

because I woke up at four in the morning

to watch the river light up gold

and the trees go from gray to green

as we sit and pretend that we can stay like this forever.

I think god is in the way my friend

fills silently with joy as I point out a bird

on a distant branch; when

we both realize it’s a cardinal at the same time.

I think god is in the way my friend’s phone

has not yet lit up to tell him his brother has died

and instead, he is laughing among the leaves,

bathed in sunlight, now,

the birds singing

the way he hasn’t since.

Hannah Dains is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis studying sociology, drama, and writing. When she isn't climbing trees and writing poems about it, she's producing experimental theater at her university as part of Thyrsus. Once she graduates in 2020, who knows.