The Swamp

We were lost in the swamp for days
before we found a river that we trusted
each way we took
was a dead end or worse
water filing in lines
into more water
pools connected by streams
intersected by the dead or dying roots of old trees

Life was different here.
Instead of reaching up
for the sky
it seemed to covet the ground beneath it.
Gnarled trunks and vines
intimidated
strangled their surroundings
determined to carve out
their own domain.

We followed the river for three days.
Each day
the remaining members of our expedition
told me
that the next was bound to be more fortunate
that we would find salvation
in the form of oceans.
That we would be saved.

In this place
where the roots of old life held down the earth
drowning it under in the murky green water
we felt a tugging at our boots
our legs
our very bodies.
Vines disguised as hands pulled us downward
with each passing moment
Making each day we traveled
A lifetime of struggle

We were running from being lost
searching to be found.
Before this we had hopes
of discovery
of finding something so valuable
that we would be remembered
for eternity.

What we feared most
was that we had found
just that thing.
That we had placed
so little value upon our own lives
only to realize
when we were forgotten
the true value of our lives
was that we had lived.

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