Bumps and bruises and scrapes and cuts and wounds.
Stumbling along, head bent, chest heavy.
My eyes trace the uneven ground, see the dips,
witness the deep gulfs in the earth.
The ground slopes away, pushing me quick.
One toe crossing the other faster than I can manage.
In the distance I only know that the ground keeps on dipping.
Head bent, eyes down,
I see the ground and the wounds;
the blood and its cause.
I stumble on.
There might be someone near, I'm not sure.
Eyes cast down, I fear to lift me head.
Swallowed in fear and sadness,
wanting to be alone, despising the loneliness.
The ground changes; I am vaguely aware.
There are still the stones and rocks and uneven patches
and roots and pits and dips and bumps.
But the floor beneath no longer pushes me on
but rather pulls me back, not wanting me to continue forward.
Every step is a battle I'm not sure I want to fight.
My foot teeters.
There is no ground on the other side of my step.
I focus my eyes just long enough to see:
yes, there is.
There is ground, it slopes away again.
Defeatist thoughts rush over me,
memories of when the ground pushed me deeper
and deeper into the valleys.
But there is a breeze that catches my breath
and slows my thoughts long enough to see,
There is ground on the other side,
but it is not another valley.
I am perched high on a mountain,
a standard unto the world.
Feet firmly planted, I unfurl myself in the wind
and proudly display my colours.
Somehow my journey has paused here in victory,
to let me see, know, my triumphs.
I hold it only a moment
and, revived, I plunge down the other side,
my wounds healed,
or simply forgotten.
The ground is still uneven and full of snares.
The earth still pushes and pulls.
The valleys still sink.
The mountains still rise.
I still go.