One path emerged, in fall, midday,
leading left from foot-worn trails.
It bore a warning—walk one way—
granting time to turn away,
back through scented sagebrush hills.
Tempted, though not feeling bold
I took the path, began to climb.
Sage to rock turned gray and cold
daring me to scale, grab hold
the canyon walls of sand and lime.
The path was merely one shoe wide,
steep and still—no turning back.
I hesitated deep inside
and slipped, and struggled with my pride,
and reached for safety in the cracks.
until the stone was bleached and pale,
and steps began to blend with sky
and daylight looked me in the eye.
Now the walls were smooth; a veil
of time and wind and life’s travails
had polished them, and so did I.