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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Douglas on January 10, 2009
"This was harder to write than I expected it would be, since - even though it is anapestic tetrameter - it has no rhymes."

Winter Trail

Not too long ago someone else traveled this way:
Some mysterious stranger with confident steps
Wending westward and into the pale setting sun
That plays Hide-and-Go-Seek with the somber blue shadows
And settles on glistening, newfallen snow.

And this courteous wanderer left in his wake
A continuous blaze in the powdery fleece -
A series of arrows that stretched to the sky-line:
Two wide, flaring wings and a long tapered tail
Overlapped in succession, and light on the snow.

With no goal of my own as I trekked through the woods,
I decided to follow his westerly path
Over boulders, through brambles and under dead trees,
Then I came to a halt by a barbed-wire fence
As the sun settled low over east-facing hills.

But those arrowheads blazed in the blanket of snow
Simply stopped in their tracks by that old rusty fence,
Neither forward nor back, no advance nor retreat.
My mysterious guide had dissolved into nothing;
His magic act startled, and left me amazed.

So I stood there, perplexed, by that blockade of wire,
And uncertainly pondered, both guideless and lost,
And considered this word, a good lesson to learn:
Be wise in your choice of the ones that you trail,
For you can't always tell when you've followed a turkey.

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