A Walk Along the Path of My Past

Abigail Cherek

I walk on a lonely deserted trail with nothing except myself and my thoughts. The blustery wind grabs my hair, and the gray water lapping at the rocky shore calms my mind. I don’t often find myself alone, as there are always other people, tasks, and distractions. It felt nice to be by myself, to be separate from the person who knew and understood me best. My thoughts were empty at first, encompassed by the creaky and towering trees and the gravel that crunched under my feet, but soon they wandered.


I thought of my old home
Of the train that hooted and rumbled,
The small school and even smaller parks to which I strolled
The towering maples and the hours I would spend underneath,
Of neighbors who were like family
Those simple summers spent bicycling around town,
Going to the ice cream shack and then watching it close down


I remember laying on the merry go round, with slushies and crumpled one dollar bills
Of screaming and laughing and getting blue raspberry refills.
Those days spent solely in the sun,
biking with friends from garage sale to garage sale, never buying a thing but thinking it was fun. The school in which everyone I knew,
Of my whole class which fit in one bus when we had trips to the zoo.
Track meets spent standing in the cold rain,
Of lukewarm cocoa and muddy terrain
Almost everyday spent walking to school,
Smelling breakfast from the bar and cigarettes and burning fuel.


I thought of my old teachers, several who had felt like parents to me, who drove us home in bad weather
and bought books when I couldn’t afford to,  these people I will remember forever.
This place I will remember forever.
So as I walk along the Wisconsin River, downey ducks flying overhead and the crisp air nipping at my red ears, I smile.