Regret threw wasted leg across the well-groomed back of fear,
and settled lightly into place, to ride the beast through night,
and day, until tomorrow and beyond yesterdays which leered,
and called from hidden valleys, hard mountains and horizon,
urging, always on, through desert mind, drowning thought,
as sweat soaked, shining into blackened coat and dripped slow,
across dimmed eyes and salted cheeks of crusted passion.
Trackless paths led deeper into desolate, demanding realms,
with maps discarded, barely read, so little did they show,
and with no more companion than belief; frail, brittle shells,
did animal and rider make their way in slow and steady searching,
through high-grassed heaven and thickly forested belief,
intent upon each small, imperfect piece of what was now;
finding, scattered in old ashes, traces, of what had barely been.
So was the journey made in silence, but for clattering hooves
of grief, which patterned deep and clear upon hard earth,
packed firm in mortal moments, minutes, days and truths,
held for memory, in place; foundation for the journey of return,
the way back, through shining nights and blinded days where
laughter hid in dying scrub and brutal bush; that place of death,
where hope rested, lay protected, ready to be one day found.