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Apr 2017
with moonlight, he travels mostly
at night, past snoring hikers and embers
of fires that cooked their food, kept darkness
at bay, and heard what they had to say

if the coals could only speak, perhaps
he would find the right circle of stones,
a black heap of carbon that once glowed
red and gold, and her tale would be told

at least he would know the last words
she spoke in this wilderness--whether she
chose to vanish into the deep wood, fodder
for the scavengers

or was the prey of evil men,
who lurk at every turn--in bustling city
and quiet forest as well--vipers who strike
without warning, without curse or cause

when the moon's light wanes, he moves yet
in darkness, feeling his way, a nocturnal detective,
hoping to find what the others have given up
for lost and registered among the dead:

sign or scent of her--black coals or white bones,
a piece of tattered clothing, the canvas backpack
with her name, the hiking boots he laced for her
which left tracks he forever yearns to find...
"Inspired" by the brutal ****** of a couple on the Appalachian Trail in the mid '80s. In this case, the forlorn searcher has lost a lover, daughter or someone he wanders in the darkness to find.
spysgrandson
Written by
spysgrandson
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       Emily B, KiraLili, wordvango, ---, Deep Breaths and 58 others
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