Down Slope

by Gene Auprey

The ascent was slowed by rabbit trails;
worn paths diverged then circled back.
They all converged on level ground—
flat apogee attained by those who’d yet
to hear the bawl of hounds picking up
the back trail.

the back trail.  Once I heard the dogs,
one path to follow down. The way
was clear, no stone or brush to slow
the pace of my descent. Flowers passed
were mauve, fast fading to a pink-
tinged white then wilted-brown.

tinged white then wilted brown.  The scent
of grass, the taste of earth, grow stronger
with each step. The din behind now pulses,
pushes hard. I’ll soon be run to ground.