I wrote this poem for a class I was taking in fall semester. I submitted it to the literary journal the university runs (Tobeco), but it went unpublished
The assignment had some ground rules as far as content, but rather than bore you with them, I'll just let you bore yourself by reading it
I remember this trail,
As black as carbon,
Smooth and even.
Now it is gray
Washed out from the sun,
Rutted by bicycle wheels.
A slimy green something grows in the shadows.
My shoes slide on it as if on ice.
Water moving with me,
Faster than me.
Little Toby, headed for the Clarion
And on to the Allegheny.
The trail travels straight,
Formerly a railway,
The river swerves in and out
As if to periodically keep watch over travelers.
I run close to the edge of the trail,
A habit from years spent on the roads.
I glance over to see him but he is gone.
A blackberry bush catches my arm
Its protective branches tearing at my skin.
Like the claws of a feral cat.
I wash it in the cool waters of Little Toby.
Sitting on a stone bench,
I check to see if anything remains.
Drops of blood again begin to form.
Scraping with a fingernail,
One last thorn I somehow missed.
I rise and consider going further.
Thatís far enough, I think.
I still have to get back,
And my feet are getting sore.
I remember this trail.