The approach is through a field of nettles
on fire, crows rasping away from the woods
at the edges of the field, locusts shrilling
behind them, hunger in full cry
over all. You must run out among those thorns
tugging you through whatever path
seems softest though no path here is soft
and the noise carries a still-greater sting.
That amplified voice of your choices, soundtrack
of the hard film you’ve made of your life, shall draw
more blood than the nettles and more sweat
from the back of your neck than the fire behind you
ever could. The approach is in fact likely more important
than the destination and will long burn and echo within you.
You hope the arrival makes up for it
in all significant ways, even as you know
you’ll hear the soundtrack until you have no more life
to surrender to hearing it. There’s hope of a song unlike it
in the air of whatever’s beyond the pain. So:
will you go, lassie, go?