Not through the shadow, but through the valley
of death itself I walked, the rustle of the dying
and dead around me. I heard the snapping, I
saw the broken, naked limbs scattered
across my path, a massacre at my
feet, the mat of pine needles,
the leaves lying in pools of
blood, the skeletal trees,
this whole forest turned
boneyard, the pines like
solemn wreaths lining a
funeral march. These
things I saw, all while
inhaling great draughts
of the earthy smell
of death, but amidst
the wreckage, so
much life dried
to a husk,
I managed
to think
of spring.

After a walk in the woods
behind the school

November 7, 2000

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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