Decoupling

I expose a tender, still-hurting place.

He responds: Maybe that’s the lesson you need to learn before you’re allowed to go on to the next life.

Cold. Careless. Cruel. Calculated?
(an accidental alliteration)

What to do but keep walking.

Sad feet stain the forest road.

A muddy pond sinks me lower. Sympathetic trees attempt a rescue.

Signs wave at me.

TURTLE
XING

NO PARKING
ANY TIME

STOP

EXIT

He punctures the silence with a single word, punctuated by his point: Look. My eyes follow his finger skyward.

A hot pink balloon is, trapped in the paws of a grizzly pine.

Illustration:
Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #2548” by Adam Koford is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.