upon leaving the backcountry

i go to the
mountains
and am reminded
of the world’s
vastness,
the
expanse of
nature’s
imagination

and then
return to
the city
where
mourning
and raging
always
await

i come out of
the woods
bracing myself
for whatever
horrors
have taken place
since i stepped
out of range

i am afraid
to leave
and i am afraid
to return

i am afraid
i am not doing
enough and
i am afraid
there is nothing
i can do

i keep spending time
in the woods
teaching young people
that we all belong
to one another
only to return them
to a world
that tries
to kill them.

i do not want this
i do not want to
live in this kind
of fear, in this
kind of world

but
to be alive
to feel despair
is a privilege
of those
without
targets on
our backs
and it is
our duty
to change
everything
in whatever
ways we can.

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2 thoughts on “upon leaving the backcountry

  1. Kirsten Gardner says:

    Narinda, your words moved me to tears. Thank you for writing and I’m grateful for having discovered your work.

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