Marybeth Holleman encounters the unexpected in her poem, “Yesterday, on the familiar trail.” This poem appears alongside dozens of poems, essays, and stories in the 2021 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry.

A routine walk, you know the kind: your mind
is far away, and it’s just your bones walking,
marking the rhythm of heartbeat to footstep.
It’s always like this right before you see them,

the ones who never take an absentminded step,
staring at you with heads lowered, ears erect,
paws spread wide and hackles half-raised,
golden eyes deciding whether you’re predator
or prey. What other category do they need?
What other thought? It’s you,

with your thousand-and-one concepts, who must
step back toward that joy-sap rising, step back
into the only world that is.

Deep Wild Journal is the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads. To read more stories about wild places, order your copy at deepwildjournal.comOur Two-for-One Holiday Sale is happening now! We are also currently open for submissions for our 2022 issue.

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