The Trail is a Trap

The trail is a trap the mind tells feet
to adhere to. There are ticks in the grass
thick with unseen processes rain and sun
work within it to make it so. The path
ahead grows threadlike, a seam on the ridge,
ridge upon ridge as angle and distance make land
look like folded cloth, with patches of oak
sliding down steep ravines. In some shadows
are vines, with corkscrew tendrils reaching
to loop around tiny branches of trees.
Like a string wound round a finger,
attachment is a means of survival.
A snap backs up the zipper’s teeth,
and the electromagnet beneath the floor
prevents the friction of air from slowing
the mighty pendulum’s oscillations.
Long socks keep skin unbitten, and a trail
is always before you: a trap, a way through.

Chris Davidson is Assistant Professor of English at Biola University, where he directs the Biola composition program and writing center. He holds a B.A. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine. His poems have been published in numerous journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Caesura, Cimarron Review, CRATE, Dust Up, Orange Coast Review.

*Photo courtesy of pfly.