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  • Acid Rain

    The trail was marked on the bark of trees
    with faded blue blobs of paint.
    For an entire afternoon we picked
    our way through tangled vines;
    waded through sumac filled meadows
    aware of the toxin; careful not to touch.
    On the second day, we crossed a field of fleecy ferns.
    A meadow of bloodroot
    led us to a wall of stripped pines;
    their color bled by acid rain.
    We slipped through the skeleton-like curtain,
    leaving behind flitting grasshoppers and tendrils of woodbine;
    the trail leading us through the center
    of destruction.
    Bare tree tips were stifled in anguish;
    the lower branches clinging
    to fat cones and lush needles.
    Chilled woods breathed out pent-up air over the knotted trail
    as it deepened.
    We walked until we came to an enclosed place
    so dim it resembled a wooded chamber.
    Moss covered boulders heaved cool sweat
    that seeped into a stream full enough to babble.
    We unloaded our gear and set up camp.
    I lay on my back feeling the weight of you;
    your rhythmic breathing on the nape of my neck.
    Like lilac silk, Aurora skirted
    over pockets of poisoned pines
    nudging at a memory.
    How long till I discover you too are
    a man who kicks puppies on Sundays?

    Pamela Wilonski
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