The oak leaves have relinquished to wind—into piles of odd, crinkled hands of some creature that has multiplied our paths. We walk through them, crunching the brown ones to know we are here. After all that has happened. What no one should speak of. Maybe quietly. Maybe when all the dust has fallen out of your hair.

Your hair in the wind, a silver mane of wild horses that crowd the plains, invite ammunition, a thinning out. Look away, but it will still happen.

If you don’t brace for the cold, the wind can push you through new doorway frames. A perpendicular grounding, upright—a passageway. Hold your breath before you see it. The cold in our faces, in all we have become.

It happens to everyone. The proliferation of line items, to-do lists, paperwork, email, scheduling, bottom lines, rides to school, misplaced bills, food rotting in the fridge, layers and layers of hurry, worry, grief, guilt, avalanche, quicksand, dread. Unnerving? Yes.

You should know that the ropes were tied intricately, reef knots I studied in a book nervously, before they were lowered into that chasm where you slipped from the rungs of your thinking–while wishing for less wind-throb heartache–that certain unpredictables would go away–the next day, day after, or next week. Worst case scenario, the pain would stop next year. Death, it undoes many.

The anchor didn’t stay lodged under the wall of stone sprouting milkweed and little bunnies.

Nor could anyone hear what anyone was saying, cooing, climb up, here near the sun-slant, sit behind the defunct train tracks, wash your hair, make those animal sounds you were making down there. It’s okay. We could all use a reminder.

Sideline coaching back to the plateau, specific directions to the stage where we all wait, often hiding, for things to grow again, soften nerve-rattled cores, quell the sparrows’ nervous jumpy shadows, cut ourselves some slack before we find our way out of the darkening forest of thinning trees. No, none of it is higher math. Well, maybe.

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4 Responses to LIFELINE[S]

  1. David Forbes says:

    Aging, everything ages and the inevitable happens. Every living organism takes this same path.

  2. Myke Todd says:

    Throw me a lifeline.
    Lend me some twine.
    Toss it short, I won’t mind;
    sail and I will turn to find.
    If I drown, don’t opine.
    You will make it just fine,
    if your rope does not unwind.

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