Deer Path

Following this half-deer-path through the undergrowth
Placing careful feet between the ferns
Completely soothed by the rhythm of right, left, back and forth
Lulled into a now without before or after
Without plans
I look up to see a clearing
Fifty yards beyond the next set of trees

Entering the circle of direct light it feels quiet
The few sounds rendered loud by comparison
The buzzing of a lone fly
The leaves disturbed by breeze
Our breath

“It feels like a church” you said
when I heard a branch crunch under foot
or paw
faint, so far away
over in the hills
to our right

You find a photo on the ground
Faded and sepia toned
It’s a picture of a clearing

In this clearing are the remnants of a few structures
Perhaps a house, garage and barn
On the other side of the photo four lines of verse are written in a neat Edwardian script:

“There is nothing here it seems
But the burnt out reverberations of failed dreams
Charred spruce green walls still half stand
Sentinels of an oft forgotten land”

I study the front of the picture again
Trying to draw some meaning from then images and words
I feel a shift somewhere inside me
A shift of some significance and yet I cannot isolate it’s origin or effect

It seems an interminable long time since either of us has spoken
I turn to you to break the silence
But nothing comes to mind
You seem to be having the same reaction
Looking at me mouth opening slightly and then closing
We both laugh in recognition

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