Twenty Five Miles

Love is a twenty five mile day.
You take it on in sections.
Walk along. Taking your licks.
Your fallen sticks and fractured logs.
Your sharp rocks, and the ones that like to stay slick.
At the frazzled tail end of each, you’re beat.
Done. Broke-hearted but too tired to run.
Until you see it.
The tinny right angle of a rusted roof.
The creek. The road. Some sign for both.
And suddenly impossible has changed.
The same ways mountains range.
Different.
From nothing other than one foot before another
until miles you planned months ago
are behind you and gone. You breathe.
Drink a little red water that’s too sweet. You eat.
Then plan the next one and move on.
Love is not one.
It is not two or three.
Love is at least five of those sections in succession
until you’ve stacked up a day that was too tall, too heavy,
too much for you before you were ready.
Love is how you hiked it anyway.
Showed up out of breath feet throbbing
almost surprised you made it
to that random spot you circled
on a long list of random spots.

Bit off more than you could chew.
Wrote a check you couldn’t cash.
Eyes were hungrier your stomach.

Love is not a challenge. Or a goal. Or a game.
It is a miracle. Simple and plain. It is too much.
By definition. Love is too far to walk in one day.
And yet you somehow found a way.
You made it happen.
When they ask how, don’t explain.
Love is all you have to say.

It is the same as saying
I walked twenty five miles today.

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