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Paths Worn Smooth by Alice Teeter


You walk this trail everyday: it's the track

you used to go visit your mother.

Youíve paced it so long that itís slick,

smooth -- down in the valley easy to use.

Youíve marched it in your sleep.


But it's always been treacherous

full of drop-offs, boggy places

where you pick up huge clumps

of stones and mud on your shoes

that slow you to a standstill.


There's a weeping willow that whips you

when the wind is blowing hard

and that rock that juts out,

which you never see

and always hits you on the head.


You have other friends who live here

on this mountain. You'd like to find

a better road to visit them.

You tried different treks before.

It's hard to see the faint traces of those paths.


You see a blackberry bush before you

and remember this is where a new trail started.

Through sweet luscious berries and their thorns

you start uphill, push through the greenery,

spider webs, and brambles, to find another way.