The Road to Nowhere

is a left turn
out of the county's only high school,
and I swear too many of my students have
made that walk--no wheels allowed--
through a tunnel dark as
any broken promise ever made.
But even a broken promise 
leads somewhere.

I heard once that devils worship
there in that length of blackness--
stories only, I'm sure.
But I know a couple lovers
who made love
for the first time at the tunnel's top
where grasses grow and know nothing
of somewheres and nowheres
and the heavy hollow below;
I suppose that is a
worship of a kind.

Pass under.
You won't see your feet, but you can
still follow them
until the daylight star
at the tunnel's end
gapes wide from white to a
whispering green that breathes
a cool and mellow
You'll find it isn't an ending
or beginning
but an opening--
a splintering of trails through
mountains older than
promises, givings, and takings.

Follow one for awhile;
the ground is soft there.

*For a brief history of Swain County’s and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s “Road to Nowhere,” read here.


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