The Path

A path wends through the Pine Woods

To the left and then to the right… sometimes in gentle curves.. sometimes in sharp angles. When i began, there was snow. Just a dusting. Well, then an inch or three..

But then after hours, the sun beat down on my graying hair and my aging shoulders. Thoughts take me back to the snow.. to the spring blossoms.. to the evergreen needle covered path.. i want to turn around, but i keep going. Now to the right. I rest under a big maple.. its leaves now autumn orange.

I need sustenance. Cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds. All i’ve been eating seemingly forever. When did i last have steak?  Have i ever had it, or did i only dream it?  And just yesterday, a panther walked with me.. then he went off the path. I stayed on it, but i wanted to follow him. Just last week, a wolf trudged with me through the snow. I had snowshoes so i was okay. Where did they go?  Did i leave them under that oak?  I have a constant supply of fresh water. For that i’m grateful. Who refills my flask?  I crave a little rum. Only a little. I think i had some a few miles ago.. maybe.

Today, a fox walks beside me. We follow the path left. These woods never end. Fox and i stop to rest in the shade of a fir. I share my water with him. I’m so tired. He lies down to rest beside me. I drift away. First i’ve slept in days, i think… I dream of the woods at night. Trees are strung with blue lights.

I wake to drink.. fox is still beside me. I tuck in my fleece blanket closer around me. Where did it come from?  I look up at the stars, and i swear they whisper goodnight.. sleep well..

M. Raynes


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