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Adventure Girl

Author: Kirsty Niven
Year: Adventure

Stumbling through sienna woods,
the branches tickle my face
in dried, papery coils – autumn leaves ready
to dive to the ground like lemmings.

I can’t see the path behind me,
can only faintly hear the dog’s bark
and the rustle of the picnic bag.
Gretel’s breadcrumbs forgotten.

Pine needles sneak into the holes
of my worn out converse,
shaking up and down with each step
like the sands of an hour glass.

I was always told I wasn’t enough,
too cowardly, too boring.
I had to adopt an alter-ego:
Adventure Girl, the superhero.

I can see her running on ahead of me,
infinitely perfect and confident.
A mountain goat climbing every rock;
everything a competition, a show.

I blink her fiction away so easily.
Facades dropped in this solitude,
I’m swallowed up by the enormity
of a forest that doesn’t care who’s brave.