My favorite log of all time had pale green lichen over almost all of it
but was basically solid and dry.
I could find it every time I scavenged for firewood behind our campsite at Stokes.
It pointed the way back.
It had fallen on level ground.
I could trust it not to fall apart or teeter when I walked the length of its spine.
It would always be a pirate’s gangplank for me when I needed one.
Bits of lichen would break off under my sneakers, but always grew back.
My kids laughed at the ridiculous notion a person could get lost in the woods,
or would come to love the peculiar way detritus gathers meaning over time.
Trusting detritus seemed like crazy talk, I guess,
easy advice to discard.
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