We children romped on deer paths through woods
cloven hooves marked sandy soil to river’s
edge. Now overgrown, a thicket of thorns
I can’t find the way back to the water.
Three thousand miles and scores of years from youth
at San Bruno Mountain, tall grasses choke
the berm. I’m tempted to push on, but maybe
Snakes are hiding under foot? I turn back
unable to loop the Eucalyptus
near a wild strawberry patch where a bee
swarm stung my five-year-old decades ago
In younger days, paths pointed clearly ahead—
ethical paths, stable paths, risky ones too.
Now paths dead-end
full of weeds and widow’s threads.