Hideaway on West Center Road

In twilight’s moment,
Where the black forest stirs,
Amongst a coyote’s howl for prey,
A burned away chapel two hundred years ago,
Remains a marble alter, a slab wall, and a story,
The sheen of dew shimmers in moon glow.

In a neighboring field, crooked tombstones
Jut up from the ground,
As if these victims eternally try to escape the fires.

These tablets, dressed in dried moss, bear worn out names,
Unpreserved only by ancient lore,
Known by locals who visit at this time to lay flowers and flags.

And behind it all, those rampant woods
Weave through each other like a fence,
Spreading up a rounded mountain,
Where brown bears graze on blackberries,
And rusted car skeletons lay buried in decomposition,
Providing shelters for wasps and field mice.

Headlights attached to my heart flip inside,
And out of the random,
I recall these gurlgling streams that ran like veins
Into deposits where beavers assembled their dams.
These secret lands, where stone trails were built,
By Union Soldiers in the Civil War,
Where I’d walk alone in youthful contemplation.

The church is a stop on the curving road,
Where “country driving” happens,
Where wild turkeys and red foxes meander across,
Where the world has been touched gently over the period of Humans.
It is here, I’ve locked away a peace that echoes
When I need it the most.

It is here, my bare feet squash the soft grass
In search of pinhead wild strawberries,
In search of connecting a beautiful, but melancholy past,
With a beautiful, meaningful present.

I ask, will you join me, or have you already?


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