Poetry  November 2016 | issue 491

Sobriety

by David Rutschman

David Rutschman is a Soto Zen priest and hospice grief counselor. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Waxwing, and Witness. His story in this issue is from his forthcoming first collection. He lives in California with his wife and two young children.

Say there’s a game: You’re walking by yourself on a
dirt road through a forest at sundown, and all you
have to do is keep walking. Nothing to it. One foot,
then the other foot, then the other foot, forever, and
the only thing you aren’t allowed to do — even when
the sun slips down behind the hills, even when the
darkness thickens all around you, even when the devil
starts his moaning in the trees — the only thing you
aren’t allowed to do is run.

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