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The Hike

by | Apr 30, 2024

(Marguerite Williams photo)

I couldn’t keep up—
our steep Blue Ridge climb.
You would pull ahead,
disappear around the turn,
while I labored behind
out of breath to make the curve,
the scroll of the path.
But then, there you were
carving our initials into a tree.

This happened over and over,
even past the stretched out dead
timber rattler, longer than you were tall,
even past the giant stones where we rested
to face the sunset. I’m still climbing,

working up the inclines
with my lonesome clatter
among the boulders. No path forward.
Just my scramble through the laurel slicks,
through these knotted roots
and dimming light.

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