The Drupe


This idyllic trail through the woods
along the river has been scene
to many a thoughtful hour, befitting
the reveries of Rousseau;
my secrets, my desires, my scorn – these woods
know them all – a silent partner to my

The river flows slowly – as leisurely as
my walk – neither I nor the water has anywhere
to be, but the river always listening,
carries my worry to the sea;
in late fall before first frost,
but after the rains begin, no
one else haunts these woods but me.

Slogging down the trail the sucking
sound of mud at my heels, the wet
underbrush grown back – salal slaps
my legs as I pass;
It is quiet and still but for the
sound of the raindrops, the squirrels and deer
are absent, the regular repartee
of the birds fall silent.

The trail widens where the walnut
trees grow and undergrowth disappears,
I pick up a drupe and absentmindedly
fondle the husk while I meander,
picking it as I amble in the gentle
rain – my thoughts escaping my mind
to stain my fingers a brownish yellow
that will not wash out for a week, reminding
me where I have been.

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