The noise it makes crackles

through pine needles,

startles the hiker

from his brooding obsessions


More startling is its light landing,

bouncing at his feet,

causing him to stop before it


He lifts it gingerly,

eyes its thin, tumbleweed form

as it shakes

in the dusting of forest light


The hiker adopts it,

carries it the rest of his hike

in his arms as he would a puppy

cast off from a brood

injured in a tumble,


Places it in the center

of the dining room table

a twisted find, a new friend,

another mystery to share

his mysteries with