I retreat a final time back to The Farm.
I cross the creek down where the real road ends.
I walk from there, into the ever woods.
I ford the creek twice more and see the sun.
It cooks the dew from what had been the orchard.
The path is steeper than I had remembered.
A blacksnake on an overhanging rock
conceals her rapt astonishment if any.
Back into the dark forest. Does it end?
I work to think of nothing but I remember:
projects well begun but then abandoned,
salt traces on the cheek of one I loved.
The sun again. I step into the clearing
remembering it was here I learned to ride
with hope and halter, quirt and bit forbidden.
I used a blanket for a saddle on hot days.
Emotions I thought atrophied propel me
uphill to where the cabin’s rough-plank porch
was the perch I launched myself from in the dawn
before walking through the weeds that wet bare feet
to wade the creek and watch for rainbow trout
that faced upstream below the larger rocks.
On nearing, I see saplings, dirt, and weeds.
The cabin I planned to move into is gone.