A thin layer of earth still clinging to my feet,
and bits of forest lingering in my hair,
I arose from my evening slumber
a shallow shadow of hope,
twisting on the loose tension
of that muddied water's surface.
Smiling, I stretched myself awake
while remembering . . .
the long trek through those budding branches,
the seemingly endless sea of thorned bushes,
the places of new growth,
the places of old growth,
the places of obvious disease
and across the fallen, narrow logs
to cross the cool chatter of water over stone
the place where trust and balance meet.
The catapult jump I was sure I couldn't make,
wherein I summoned every bit of
courage, strength, and steadiness
within and around me
to land on dry land.
The shoe swallowing swamp hops
in the contrasting heat of the sun through the trees
and the cold breeze beneath the freshly forming canopy of forest.
The occasional flower springing up
through a thick layer
of last year's decaying foliage.
The occasional carcass.
The not-so-distant gunshots.
The field of wild onions.
The abundance of mandrake.
The utter lack of morels.
The idea of divinity.
Truth be known
I never looked once
To the earth
for a fungus
I hate mushrooms
and I love the sky.