a pair

There times a week
they hike a circular trail in the forest
that begins and ends at the cabin.
They think
repetitions darken the blood, sustain
the vigor, heighten familiarity-
junction where to view the lake,
where the creek crosses, where
the trail descends, the third rise
where they pick the freshest acorn
for the hearth., the bend where they pause
to replenish.

Their houses are eight hours apart.
One gardens and likes okra,
the other a journal-writing devotee,
ideas bounce between their minds.

Last September, a fall
disrupted the circle.
Today they forgot the key
they sat on the bench, waited
for their wives.