Frayed Laces

by Tonya Suther

I wanted to hike the trail this morning, but my laces were frayed. It’s that same trail I’ve trekked for
thirty years now. A three-mile jaunt of worn soles and neutered wildlife – too unnatural really.

The last time I took the big hill, a man wearing mirrored Ray-Bans stopped me near the top and
adjusted his hat. “Be careful,” he said. “There are coyotes over that ridge.” Only, I was looking at his
walking stick. Its benevolence was of no use to me. Then it occurred to me. He’s not talking to me.
He’s talking to the girl I left behind me. She went into the desert without any kind of planning or

Roadrunners adlib
their way into the burrow.
A mouthful of lark.

This morning, she’s got a panoramic view of the rugged terrain that loops out over the horizon. And
I wonder how she’ll weave through all that erosion and dearth. I imagine she’ll pull the brambles
from her throat and toss her leg over that rock wall.

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