Through the Woods

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Sometimes the woods are beautiful.
When finches perch in the silent canopy.
When red-orange leaves flutter down around me.
When the ice coats the branches sparkles with filtered light.
When it feels like solitude.

Sometimes the woods are terrifying.
When unseen eyes peer out from the foliage.
When shadows and brambles clutch at my ankles.
When the shrieking north wind sets the boughs groaning.
When it feels like isolation.

Sometimes the woods are infinite.
When entwined roots choke out the path.
When the leaf litter crunches beneath my steps.
When I trudge past a moss-covered stone I've seen before.
When it feels like loneliness.

Sometimes the trail is gone.
Those are the days I want to build a cottage.
Those are the days I flee from hunters and hellhounds.
Those are the days I collapse, convinced I'll never see the sun.
When I'm lost.

I've come here so many times.
The road I walk becomes dirt and mulch.
Flowers and saplings turn to tall pines and oaks.
Branches and thick canopies blot out the blue skies.
When the only way out is through.

The woods always end.
Long or short, a path leads out.
Green groves give way to grassy fields.
The blue horizon greets me and nothing follows me out.
When I come home.

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