The Sign, the Vector, and the Fairy Tale

No hapless adventurer I,
Daring to sally forth with no hope
Of a home at last to return to.
The dark forest bid me enter,
An invitation to the intimacy of seeing and knowing
The spruce hollows where all fear dwells;
My feet accepted the hospitality of the labyrinth,
But my hands mistrusted, strew my breadcrumbs:
The word of life and the broken bread
Scattered like my memories
Like footprints behind me
On the path I had never desired.
But this (mis)trust in uncertainty came new and uneasy--
I do not believe in signs
Who so readily lose their way
Absent the wise figure of a concrete referent.
What assurance had I
That a ball of twine made from fragile words
Would not blow away on a breeze or rot
As surely as the doves consumed
Hansel and Gretel's way home?
But the interwoven strands of story
Kept the thoughts together,
Anchored them in the soil of a land I came to know.
And when my frostbitten fingers sought
The rough comfort of their sound
There yet they were, a living vine:
A whispered welcome on the long walk home.

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