Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trail End

Fever-pitch footfalls
Come to a close at the base
Of a mountain.

We stop, drop
Our packs in the dirt,
Want nothing more than shelter.

Further above,
I sank down, believing
I could not go on.

You grabbed my shoulders,
Told me we would do it,
Get down and back home, so
I willingly walked in your footsteps.

I slid-scraped over rocks
Tripped over tree roots
The forest and mountain blurring,
Tangled knots of brown and green
Painting the relentless descent.

When we hit the lonely road
We collapsed together,
The sharp, heavy woods
Continuing on into darkness.


Our trail-selves retreat as
Dusk makes the colors pop,
Gritty gray and black.

The stiff silence of isolation
Forces us up again
Searching for signs of life.

A minivan approaches -
We get in, carried away,
Not looking back.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Widow's Walk

The ocean is like an onion peeled back.
She stands on the widow's walk
Counting the minutes before dawn
Stretching her vision to the far end
Of the horizon, where
The bloodied razor's edge of sun
Cuts the night open.

Each wave makes her cry,
Like the sting of the onion's tang
The smell of salt burned onto
Her mucous membranes.
She can taste the ocean water
With every inhalation
Until it seems she herself
Is the ship that bears her
Husband home,
Rocking and listing, aft and stern
Tipped up and ready to plunge down.

Kneeling on the cold winter porch
She finds her knees are wet
But her feet have not yet
Touched the shore.

-GSS 2013