A Winter’s Walk down the Lansing River Trail

In Lansing, the capitol of Michigan, lies a trail for bikers and hikers alike. The Lansing River Trail is an approximately 13-mile trail through urban and rural stretches alike, lying in the shadows of Lansing’s bustling streets, twisting through masses of deep-rooted forests, rising up in boardwalks or smoothed out in easy footpaths, and all the while trailing the river for which it is named, providing a scenic route for anyone looking for a little exercise. Not as much of that in the Winter, of course, but even in the midst of this most frigid season, it remains a popular destination. It helps, of course, that the trail stretches all the way to East Lansing, and to the MSU campus.

Saturday, I decided to take a walk down the trail in spite of the frosty weather, and investigate the sights I had been denied since the summer, when a long jog was often a morning’s routine. These are a few of the results of my walk. Enjoy.

Observe the breaks. Just a few seconds prior, I had been standing there, on what I thought was solid ground.

Part of the trail runs under the highway, and where there are bridges, there is graffiti.

Several sections of railroad also run over the trail, and the river.

One of the numerous boardwalk bridges that are a part of the trail.

The Oak

Alone, standing, oaken life take root

the wood gnarls as branches stretch,

the colored leaves fall down, down

and the moss hangs down, down

bent, twisted, craven mass of limbs.

I stand, wondering how this, alone, might stir and how the

—limbs, reaching, have no other limbs to twine,

I touch, and I consider wood-borne genocide, this rough

—bark grating on my fingers,

but the bough yields and the leaves descend,

and I, standing here alone, am left to ponder

how colorless the world can be

with one life, one love, and none to share it,

and I think it is no wonder this solitary thing

sets to wilting in the chill.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!