A Hike’s End

The woods are

Always darkest first, I remember.

It’s just the two of us.

He says we need to hurry because

It’ll be too dark to see

Soon.

Each step directly in front of the last,

The trail’s raised edges keep my vanishing course sure.

Darkness encroaching, he says to go faster.

Nearly running,

I am struck by terror.

It is dark,

We’re separated from the group,

We are alone.

He is big,

I am small.

Could I out run him?

The plants are coming faster now,

Like my heartbeats, thoughts,

And him.

I want to sprint,

But can’t.

Campfire voices announce the end.

I stop.

He approaches.

I look into his eyes.

He says he’d rather not

Be out so late next time.

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