The years away have been hard.
There has been blood and terror,
imprisonment, and worst of all, loneliness.
The loss of companions has been a trial.
Hard, too, have been the dust and stones of the road.
The way was never clear, no map drawn or arrow painted,
no missive penned saying which way to go, or how.
No coin left.
I have been a vagrant and a squatter, and that was hard.
Pride has been a luxury ill-afforded.
The nights have been vast and uncertain.
There are predators, even in the light, and no weapons
but what could be fashioned on the road
(and then not always what was needed).
Guides have been few and unreliable –
payment has so often been an issue.
I’m scarred, but I have learned to fight.
My camp is better now…
more secure and well-provisioned.
The way is still unclear,
but I know how to blaze a trail.
That skill was hard to come by, I assure you.
Perhaps someday our paths will intersect,
and I can ask about the missing map,
the lack of coin or weaponry,
the omission of even a tent.
Maybe I can ask why you left me to the wild.