Making a Path by Nancy Schatz Alton
We are whacking our way through a forest, untamed.
Underneath the understory there’s a million stories:
Everyone who came before us
making a path of every mistake and misstep
broken trust and dried out bones
wheels falling off the tracks
ruts underneath the understory.
We make our own path
rashes from plants with no names
cuts and bruises and tales we can no longer tell
because they belong to the people we are cutting this new path with together.
We are armed to the teeth yet defenseless:
scythes and boots, tears and shirtsleeves.
I wipe this story from my fingertips, I tell you in whispers
without saying a word that you can understand.
I offer you my shirtsleeve, you cover my blisters with your tears.
The forest calls to us, the trees know every name of its travelers.
We are stained green and walking, praying that we can walk together
as long as possible, in silence while giving thanks for these invisible roads
we track together.