Tripped into sunlight

stone reveals itself

as fragment of claw

still digging at the spot

where it was abandoned.


On my knees

in rusted pine needles

and copper leaves

I finger its smooth veneer

and puzzle what attack

separated it from its body.


Above me the fragile limbs of aspens

sway in warm winds that suck

what’s left of hope

from bones of bent men like me

who walk alone in worn jackets

and muddy shoes,


wonder what will finally

hunt us down,

if any part of ourselves

will be scattered behind

to be found by those

who shuffle behind us

through desiccated debris

on autumn trails