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Leave No Trace

by Rob Littler

I let my finger trace
The map. I am
Transported back
To that Wild place—
Tracking my own past
Footprints in the landscape,
Noticing step upon step made
So as not to scrape a lichen
Or bend one blade of grass
Away from the sun.

It has begun. Turning away
Is turning in. So Let’s begin:
A rock’s sense of time—to witness
With a massive stone, what amounts
To millennia after millennia in a moment—
Water percolating as ancient as gravity
And sweet pine on the verge of rosemary
On my skin, in my nose, watering my eyes—
One seeing the depth of each cavern and valley,
The other focused on the expanse of the skies,
All caught in an echo mimicking thunder’s
Cold crushing weight.

My eye wanders the scaled topography,
Each peak a beacon of memory
Of trips and traceroutes in immediacy—
Time spent packed up like a paper ball,
Or burned away to ash the wind, becoming,
Once again, elemental. Even if at trace amounts.


Posted on 11/03/2015
Copyright © 2021 Rob Littler

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/10/15 at 03:25 PM

You take me there and I'm ready to get out the hiking poles! There is a delicate appreciation here. "Time spent packed up like a paper ball," is a very cool image. Marvelous last three lines. Thanks for this.

Posted by Richard Vince on 11/10/15 at 10:53 PM

very evocative. somehow, it feels enormous. :)

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