Walking through the woods, our eyes closed,
boots sinking — mud soggy with rain.
Bird song muted by dozens of competing voices,
chattering in flowing accord,
communal living on the go.

Rush! Rush! Thighs taut, back load strapped on,
contemplative haze green around,
turning to photograph your face,
an easy smile comes reflecting back, reflecting back.
Our eyes gleaming — shimmering tears.

Mares with flaxen manes, tails brushing
a gallery along the path.
Light fencing that separates us,
unmeasured space between our souls.
But the metric is ours, not theirs, not a world feature.

Sinking deeper! Deeper! Ruminating muddy thoughts:
..Jihadi mocks psychologism,
….daughters with far flung hopes abroad.
……Wondering was it all worth it?
……..Love in the world, yet set apart.

……..What you love is your vocation,
……high flown talk stripped away when tested (what can endure?)
….Heart pays for time and time rewards.
Muddy thoughts are brought to a close,
foot caught in outstretched roots, twisted.

Now eyes open — trees all around;
Ears hear — the birds warning of us.
The voices hush! Hush! Breathing observed (under control).
A rift of difference emerges between our souls:
Solitary thinking (us) — woodland denizens (them).

Us and the dead mud on our boots.
Them and the love between us all.