By Jessica Noel Grissom

Trees form an arch overhead,
shading my eyes from the fierce sun.
I’m winding down the twisted paths,
meticulously moving through the shadows.
Back and forth, the road bends and turns.
Foliage blocks the view around the next bend,
and I cautiously watch every step.

Dusk happens too quickly while the surroundings change.
Sunlight lowers in the horizon,
casting shadows on what’s familiar.
Soon, it will be too difficult to see well without artificial light.
I don’t want the unnatural in this scenic place.
My soul longs for the authentic.
It wants to see through the shadows with light that is true.

My eyes sadden as I continue the journey past the graveyard.
I stumble through the distortion, wandering the next layer of darkness.
I move forward with reassurance that something must occur beyond the leaves.
Desperately, I try straining my neck to see around the corners,
But the path ahead stays hidden from my view.

Tiny droplets of gold began twinkling around me.
They light up the path ahead, but I can barely catch up with them.
I step slower and closer, trying to grasp the flickers of hope.
Dancing softly, though aware I’m moving along.
Instead of gazing at my feet,
my head is now looking at the flickers of light.

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