Wanderlost | Jeremiah Zaeske

Photo by @sashamatic on Unsplash

In the end it didn’t matter how it started

Once the path stretched out before you

there was no stopping your descent

Twists and turns were part of the fun

Then the path split in two

then four

on and on until you forgot which way you’d come

but it didn’t matter anymore

You never intended to return

Not really

You left breadcrumbs

just in case someone went looking for you

but it was the middle of ant season

and they swarmed over any trace of you

You were so busy staring at the ground

you didn’t notice how the trees crowded in

until their leaves blocked out the sun completely

and it was too dark to see the path anymore

But it didn’t matter

because you didn’t want to leave just yet

You could finally hear your own thoughts

in the silence

The cold shivered into your lungs

and wrapped around your bones

until you were whole again

You didn’t know how far you’d wandered

off the path

but it didn’t matter anymore

Your fingers brushed the damp moss

and traced patterns in the bark

and you knew you were finally at home

You could be alive or dead

for all you cared

Nobody would know the difference

They would never find the body

Once your feet grew weary

you rested against a tree trunk

and closed your eyes

Eventually your head tilted over

and sank into the fallen leaves

You were one with the forest now

It inhaled as you exhaled

Until your lungs gave out

and then your heart

and you were still

as the ants crawled over you

and the worms crawled into you

Until the forest had swallowed you whole

and you could feel the sunlight through the leaves again

and you passed on a whisper to the first gust of wind

to let them know you were finally free

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