A Sunday-poem from wonderful Luci Shaw:
The Grit on the Track
The ground is always there witnessing
how you walk. You need light to travel
a dark path, and you need to travel light.
Otherwise the shadow that turns out to be
a boulder or a root will trip you,
and your heavy pack will bear you down
into the hard anguish of gravel
that is more than your knees can bear.
Even roadside dust clings to your heels as if
God is in every crystal of sand.
Gravity and the possibility of falling
will keep you aware. In the twilight you
come home from walking the dog in the woods
with the walk still clinging to you–twigs
and the stain of berries on your soles.
Each clot of sludge from the forest floor
answers back–another footfall. This is all
my handwork, he is saying. Stay with this mud,
this humus. Every next mile you walk
will be a revelation.