Sometimes the path is beautiful:
ridged with wild roses, leaves
like silver coins in sunlight.
Birds twitter; the river murmurs;
far away, a woman sings.
But, sometimes, the path grows dark.
The rain beats down, the wolves howl
uncanny lullabies.
Sometimes the forest is as silent
as a scream caught in a throat,
or a cold hand
at the nape of a woman’s neck.
Then the traveler holds her cloak close,
mutters curses against the wind,
entreats signposts:
which way to a sharp knife,
a warm fire,
a companion?