Making a Path

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.

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