>dotted lines

>The road drops out from beneath us.

The wiper blades squeak and the radio lost all signal twenty miles ago. There are no vehicles on the road but ours and the occasional pickup hauling bales of hay. Up ahead– thunderstorms and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The best way to get there is to follow the dotted lines on a map painted on the side of a brick building in the small mountain town you passed through sixty miles ago.
We stop a few miles shy of the wilderness. White-tailed fawns are playing in the meadows. We’ve been welcomed to tag along.
From this point on, we leave the map. No more dotted lines.

Inside the barn are shelves of birds nests, jaw bones, fossils, feathers and whatnot.

We don’t want to leave.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

7 responses to “>dotted lines

  1. >The road shot–first photo at the top–is powerful. I feel that if I move one inch closer to my computer screen, I'll be on that road, on a journey of my own, down the hill, around the corner. So magical. Luring. Beautiful ~

  2. >Thanks for taking us on this haunting journey. I can feel the weather on my skin. Like Kary above I can almost feel the road underneath my feet and smell the grass and wood and rocks and water.

  3. >Some of us still inhabit the wild places, places mapped on a building's wall. I half-expect the warning, as in earlier and unknown times, Beyond this place there be dragons. The road, the primitive piled rocks, other signs of man's habitation, yet it still feels free in ways many of us don't know. Something essential rediscovered; who would want to leave?

  4. >This looks like my idea of a good day…History and mystery all around…except I'd rather be at 'Rainbow Lake' than at 'Frozen to Death Lake'!!

  5. >Park maps are always intriguing, those dashed or dotted lines, and the weather worn trail signs, pointing to sights unseen until you've rounded every bend, and you want to go again.

  6. >hi karyn,i was tickled the photo came out at all because it was shot through my windshield while driving. i am so pleased you felt that tug.hi elisabeth,sometimes in my life, i am so hesitant to take the extra step forward- where the road might drop off from beneath me. this day i was reminded that i should let that happen more often.hi kathleen,good to hear! the lighting was less than brilliant since it was a rainy day, but i didn't want to enhance the shots with photoshop.i wanted to see if the tone of the day could come across without editing.hi marylinn,that was exactly what happened to me– something essential was rediscovered, uncovered. it wasn't time to leave, but i feel as though i brought something back with me. after running through a long dry spell in poetry, a new poem appeared last night (shhhhh).hi kerry,me, too! also up there is a place called elk lake, the site of a hiker falling head first off a cliff and requiring several rescue groups running overnight to his aid. my son spent the night straddling the injured hiker, having no idea if and/or when help could come to him. he didn't know that i was some miles north of him at the trailhead with the sheriffs and rescue crews. sobering to watch horses being unloaded from trailers, guerneys strapped to their sides. in the end, the rescue crews couldn't carry the hiker out so a help helicopter was ordered. just as day broke, we heard the helicopter approach from the nearest city, 90 miles away. the hiker was the son of my then-boyfriend. both our boys grew up considerably after that. hi annie,your post is poetic. reading it, i want to go again. (i *heart* maps!)

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