Lobelia cardinalis. by Karissa Knox Sorrell

Late afternoon.
Five miles around and up Gregory’s Bald
in mid-October drizzle. The mud squishes
under our shoes, earthworms squirming,
acorns and animal pellets drowning.

I crouch to fix an untied boot;
when I stand up, you are gone.
I’m alone with just
the whisper of rain touching leaves.

The trail bleeds into a slope clumped
with brush and trees; should I try to follow it,
hoping to find you again?

Or should I turn back, plunge across
that swelling creek and down the muddy
mountainside, steadying myself with
drenched birch branches?

The day has drifted between us
like a veil of petals falling
from the cardinal flower.

As evening approaches, I disappear
into the shadows, upwards into the tangled
landscape that waits.

Karissa Knox Sorrell is a writer and poet from Nashville, Tennessee. She also works with ESL teachers and students. She likes watching reruns of Lost and Gilmore Girls. And she likes Cheetos. Read more of her work at her blog, and follow her on twitter.