One Poem by Dennis DuBois

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Nameless Guide

We must have been poorly advised, misheard
               the directions, which has led us here,
to this frightfully beautiful, winter wonderland.
A mistake that could be the cause of our deaths.
               Our outlook changed
to become less joyful, less holiday-spirited,
                              and further in—
               it turned again to become grim
                              and darker still.

We are exposed on this windswept mountainside.
               The landscape barren, skeletal,
prepped to take on the onslaught of winter.
                              We are not.
               The path obscures in the snow.
We are fools, dressed improperly for this arduous journey.
               Argon has no gloves, his arms are bare.
                              I am Ingrid. I wear
a newly made satin skirt with circles representing
               the phases of the moon.
We started out singing carols, but cold silence
               slipped between, lips chapped, throats
                              clamped shut with fear.
               We are lost, wandering aimlessly,
                              misstepping our way to oblivion,
circling back to find our own faint footprints in the snow.

It was only then, through my despairing mind, did I spot
               through the mist of low hanging clouds,
                              a cabin, dimly lit, a distance away,
smoke billowed from the chimney with candlelight
               flickering in the windows, a wreath on the door,
and as we approached, the recognizable voices of those
               near and dear could be heard,
                              fully engaged in the festivities.

Now smiling we pounded on the door to be welcomed
               in with gusto, to raise our glasses
and foretell of our triumphant journey, to defeat the demons;
                              death and doubt.
Argon suggested it was a blessing to be lost, but a greater blessing
               to be found. I chided him that I knew all along,
                              guided by the vapor of a whispered voice.


Dennis has been darkening pages, scribbling, jotting down, and editing poems since he was a wee child. Poetry has been a friend, a guide, and someone to talk when nobody else was around. His fingers may have stiffened over his guitar strings, but they hold a writing instrument just fine.

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