into the woodsAlmost overnight, the path had become a graveyard of leaves,
and the roots underneath, exposed as incisors days before, now lay invisible,
waiting to twist ankles and bring the novice runners to their knees.
But the air in those woods called to her, the suspension of traffic, the lull
coming from those swishing trees, the ripe smell of dirt after a rain, and her
feet turned left as if they had a mind of their own, then wove a new trail
through the discombobulated terrain. She had to look down, now, closer
at the minute geographies that lay just a footstep ahead, or her stride would fail
completely. But all it took was slight deceleration. She felt her body slowing.
And soon she heard a whisper rising from the broken earth below: Keep going.