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I went to the foothills to get away from people.
People found and surrounded me.

All those folks attempted
to burn off pandemic stress,

political election year stress,
spare-tire-accumulating stress.

I sought solitude.
I sought thrashers and cactus wrens.

Why was I the one who yielded the trail
to unmasked walkers, joggers, and mountain bikers?

Away is now a half mile farther from home
than it once was,

with the national parks and monuments
closed to the public,

with bookstores closed
and no chance to peruse the stacks.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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