Trail Equations



Equation 1

At the trailhead

The snow dampens my spirit

Melting upon contact, on

My shivering hand, longing

To shut myself up inside a bubble

To drive back to wine and heat

Quietude among city streets

Under blankets of roofs

Lawns cured to perfection

Equation 2

There is a woman in the parking lot

She stands near the trailhead

Backpack overstuffed, hitchhiking

As if she expected the snowfall to be

Warmer, not quite as cold

As these mountains produce.

In her eyes is a search

For unknown calmness

Equation 3

I’ve seen her pace before

A deer running from a fire

An escape, a desire, a plan

Anywhere is better than

Where she is from

This longing, I recognize

The colliding equations of

Guessing when to leave

And knowing when to stay

Equation 4

The clouds have come down

From the sky to embrace me

There is something inside me

The trail, the clouds, her eyes

None and all combined

I am from the place she thinks

Produces fire dowsed by spirit.

Surely she can see

I am beginning on the trail

Still new, still so many rocks

Equation 5

As I leave her standing alone

Cars pass along the old highway

I hear them echo

Any one of them would take

Her to my city

She looks not at me nor the road

I’m a bit hesitant to travel

Deeper upon the trail

As if I didn’t want to leave her


Equation 6

I look at the ground as I hike.

I’m Pan with hooves

Prancing through the forest with

Padded toe and supported heal

Provided by shoes made

By people I’ve never met.

Should I go back and tell her

Lewis & Clark ate dogs,

and that the river she

Follows has lost its rapids?

How trails change under our feet?

Equation 7

Her search is a construction

Of a trail she has in her heart

She won’t find what she’s looking for

Merely by running away

She will create the new trail

That becomes her comfort

That spreads out from the city

I was born and raised in

Her trail becomes mine

And mine becomes hers

As all my ancestors and hers

Have done before.

16 Comments on “Trail Equations

  1. This is a wonderful piece. Wonderfully simple on the surface, with many nuances beneath it. Well done.


  2. Really nice poem. I love all the imagery and the beginning on the trail, “still new so many rocks”, yes I`ve been there and I am still learning!


  3. Beautiful and thoughtful. What if. This is what effective social studies teachers produce in their students – the ability to think critically by imagining what might have been if… As pure description of rain, I love these lines. The clouds have come down, From the sky to embrace me. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great piece, I’ll be following your blog with a close eye! If you check mine out too and follow me that would be great! Thanks!


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