North

Out the door and down
the hill. Past the elementary

school and across the soccer
fields. The trailhead, past

where deer graze, next
to where the river slides fast

and quiet. The warning signs
and then the tree mural,

the hidden entrance to the park,
through the park to the first

bridge, past the middle school
(do not speak to anyone)

to the second bridge
across the road, next to

a parking lot, next to
the river again. Behind houses

where children stare at
you, behind the Farm & Garden.

Past the last houses and
the old gas fields and

you’ve made it to the open.
When you wish to be gone

this is the way you go.
Your legs tell you when it’s

far enough to make it back
unless you are too far gone

to listen. In that case,
listen to the jays

and crows and fear
their warnings instead.


This poem originally appeared in The Michigan Poet.

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One thought on “North

  1. Pingback: Riverwalking: The Story of “North” « Jonathan Jay Taylor

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