Tiny Cuts

The path is narrow—
the drop off steep on either side.
“Don’t look down” doesn’t work 
when the weeds of old routines 
entangle, unraveling like an old cassette tape 
played too often and stretched too thin, 
wrap around my ankles
threatening my knees.
Stumbling, I fall from flat ground, 
my finger tips grapple with gravel 
sharp and loose 
until I find purchase in a word—
STOP.
I breathe 
for a moment lying still, 
acknowledging the pain of tiny cuts 
and clamber back onto the walkway.

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