We have our thoroughfares, we have the descendants
of the wooden plank paths
laid down through the hacked and sawn and blasted forest—
now Lynn Valley Road, Mountain Highway.
We have our drives and avenues
cutting across where there were once fish-filled sloughs—
now Marine Drive, Bewicke Avenue.
But where are the paths
leading from river to river? from mountain lake to village?
from village to winter camp?
Where are they, the original paths of this place?
Like the routes within the rain-sounds,
like the routes the rain takes on winds
when the low heavens release it,
like the routes the sunlight takes through the rain—
they must still be here.
The new roads go from street to street,
machine to machine,
connect grid after grid.
The old roads must go
where the roads within people go—
the roads that vanish when a person dies,
yet while a person is alive
show the way through what does not stay to what stays.
Those paths that lead where they led
long, long before I was here,
they lead where I will be when I am gone and am nothing
except what I did not know of this place.

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