This world has only
Two true directions:
Towards and away.

The big fear, in the end,
is to awake and find that
You chose away.

That the hand
Which held you down
Was none other
Than your own.

The pursuit
Of that which is not truly us
Renders even the most
Powerful vision useless

When the boulder in front
Of the cave begins to shift

When that first illuminating shaft
Pierces the dark

Do not hesitate long

Do not waste time
Anticipating the griefs
Yet to come

They cannot be helped
And perhaps are necessary

On that long
And awkward walk
Towards yourself.

Quinn Bailey is a naturalist, outdoor educator, and wild life tracker who lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, where he facilitates rites of passage and teaches ancestral skills to youth and adults. You can find him and his poetry on Instagram as wq_bailey.