[37] Schwarzwald, A Family Hike, Danielle Hanson

As bird calls fled from
forest, we took
their place among trees,
our children scattered
along the trail like bread. Mud
sticking, planting our feet into earth.
Our shadows grew longer,
so we pushed on, determined
to pass into and through
before the shadows merged,
before we were indistinguishable
from night. The puddles on forest
floor hid behind trees, so as
not to have to answer sky’s call.
But deeper still we dug toward valley
as small wildflowers signaled warnings,
remember field, remember light.
Roots reached out for us, the air set
a trap for our breath, the leaves wove
web-like across our minds. We crossed
threshold of forest just as
the sun was giving up its claim.
As the vulture of night descended,
a single puddle adjusted its lens
into focus, took a picture of sky.

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