I woke to complete silence
Yet my knees screamed louder the murder
When I shifted them from slumber
Half crosslegged I had fallen backwards
Into sleep that left smoke trails
Through my dreams.
My nose was hiding itself from the cold
I looked searchingly at the fire
I could feel wasn’t even hopeful.
My pack was close enough
So I knew where matches were
But kindling rested beside my axe
Yet to be shorn from its whole
So were the tea bags that would slowly ooze life
Back into my cold frame
Easily forgetting the eyes of last night’s terror.
I made it a habit not to look back
When I walked away from yesterday’s camp
You don’t need that to remember what’s already known
Like folded socks in the side of my pack
I was well kempt and had a full bottle of water
And the industrious chipmunk
Was happy to see me go
Understood by the sounds of his chatter
That followed me along a path
I was making with my compass pointing East.
My first few steps always remembered
What yesterday so easily forgot
So I stopped and untied my shoe
To clip my nails that were growing healthy
It’s much nicer to put on warm socks
Then cold and wet socks of the first light of morning
And my pack jingled merrily
As I swung it back on.
Scanning the vastness was hard to comprehend
What had alarmed me so easily
The night before,
What creatures our dark mind magically creates,
And now looking back at me was salal so thick
No ghost could sneak through
And my heart reminded my mind
To believe in thy safety one thousand times again.
Slowly my breath found it’s groove
Steadily flowing with each footstep
My packs new bumps settled itself softly
And the world began to expose itself to me
With every step a new angle
A new tree fallen sideways
A slug neatly stepped over
An unidentified toadstool
A river softly gurgling somewhere in the distance
An obstacle I’d have to traverse.