We keep walking, testing the ground
with the naked skin of our toes. Here
a ridge in the dirt, a broken twig. Next
step, the earth gets cooler and softer
as if recently wet. Now what feels like
a plank bridge over a stream, edges
of the boards close-spaced, a burble
of water on pebbles. We are stepping
on stiff prickers from crushed weeds.
Clearly somebody else tromped here
ahead of us. We are frightened but so
hopeful: let someone kind be waiting
for us at the end of the path. We may
call it God or peace or understanding,
or let it be the oldest dog in the world
come to lick our sore feet.