Metronome This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 20, 2013
Hidden by a thick curtain of greenery,
Waits a footpath, leading deep into the belly of the forest
Far from the rivers of asphalt and cement towers of the modern world.
As you trek through the tunnel of trees, silence embraces you
Even the resounding thuds of the heaviest boots are suffocated
Beneath dew-dampened leaves and decaying pine needles.

One final turn, and the tightly knitted woods fold outward into an open clearing
Where tumbled blocks of stone create an outline of what once was a cemetery.
The wrought iron gate which guarded the entrance now rests useless on the ground,
Rusted bars being slowly digested by new growth on the forest floor.
You step out from the cool shade of the trees, into a warm, golden sunlight
Whose tender rays glimmer across the tombstones with every whisper of wind.

Fingers are run gently over the surface of a gravestone,
Eroded away by years of harsh wind and acidic rain.
Once intricately carved epitaphs have been forever lost to the elements.
Before, the forest was clear cut land, miles of stonewalls, of cottages and farms,
But that was when those buried here had faces, had names.
Now they have nothing, now they are no one.

You sink to the base of a twisted oak tree,
Listening to the sounds of thriving wildlife in the foliage above.
How truly ephemeral you are dawns on your mind,
As you stare at the crooked stone markers of those long since lost.
Someday, you will hold a plot just like this, your existence reduced to an etching on stone,
But for now, you are alive, and that alone is reason enough for you to smile.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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