“Move on” they say, so I lift my heavy heart
and step into the sunken deciduous silence.
Crushed brown leaves, dejected grey sticks and broken beige pinecones pass beneath me.
White soulless leaves clutch onto beechtrees
and refuse to let go.
Fragile pieces of birch lay shattered,
smothered by the weight of life.
It is the end…the end of hibernation.
History teaches us to take the arrival of spring on faith,
but this has been a particularly tough winter.
“Just move on” they say and I take another step,
progressing painfully down this well-trodden path.
I long to return to Frost’s other road,
but with no regrets.
I bravely left my warm bed to face the harsh chill.
The news of rain almost cost me this trip
through the memories of a frigid affair.
I hear water.
I step off the trail and follow the sound of my own curiosity.
Maybe if I get there…
The constant flow touches my ear, each droplet on her own voyage.
I sit for awhile on a mossy rock and watch the expedition.
Bubbles form and float tenuously atop the gushing flow.
My eyes isolate one, desperately clinging to the refuge of my moss-covered seat.
I know her tenacious endeavor is futile,
but I root for her anyway.
Inevitably, she tires and slips into the steady stream,
and is carried into the not yet discovered.
The sound of millions of daring droplets becomes deafening.
It’s time to move on…
I journey upwards with the comfort of my warm cocoon in mind.
Removed from the trail, I must forge my own way.
I stumble more than once and almost fall,
until I embrace sturdy trees who generously help me up.
My climb leads me to an unfortunate scene:
A fallen birch lies before me, with peeling skin
and cuts in just the right places.
Her white bark is coiled and turning gray,
her pain transformed into mushrooms.
This path was an option for me too…
But this matron used to be someone, someone important.
Her soul severed from carcass,
she is a waning memory at best.
It is more likely she will not be remembered at all
now that she is no longer considered beautiful.
I step over the vanishing victim
and reach for a small branch of a living tree.
“I’m not out of the woods yet”, I remind myself.
I pass through the gap of the now familiar stone walls.
Yet this path somehow strikes me anew.
A glimmer of green pushes through the mucky floor.
The tiniest of flowers emerges
in the middle of the trail
and I stoop to have a closer look.
This vulnerable pink gesture hints at hope.
My focus fixed to the floor, I step around trilliums and crocus leaves.
Where were these jewels on my way to the water?
The chill ushers me to the edge of a clearing
where a single yellow daffodil blocks my way.
She stands proud and independent,
and is not moved by my presence in the world.
“Let her go”, my gut, my heart and my brain align.
“Just move on”, my consortium nudges.
I study her intently with a heavy chest…
and resist the urge to crush her with my burdened boot.
“Farewell”, I whisper and step out of the woods.