Wednesday, March 11, 2020


You flee your life one evening
walking down a moonlit forest trail.
Fat Douglas firs,
ancient Egyptian pyramids of the forest
with silver-green needles
scraping the sky,
line the path.
They rub shoulders with
slender, ragged western hemlocks
and bigleaf maples,
their gold-dipped autumn leaves
black now in the night.
And you stop, close your eyes,
and breathe them all in,
and they breathe in you.

The forest welcomes you
but makes no accommodation.
Hardened roots stick out of the ground,
and you trip repeatedly
on this welcome mat.

There are no electric lights,
no human noises,
but the woods are speaking
with snapping branches,
sudden starts and stops
of an invisible creature on the forest floor,
and owl screeches overhead.
The wind gently urges you forward.

At the end of the trail,
where you plan to leap into the unknown,
you find you aren’t alone.
A bearded, red plaid-clad hipster,
gray beanie atop his head,
long brown hair tied in a bun,
looks right through you
as he opens another IPA.

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