Optional Routes

By Mercedes Lawry

Enter here,
unaware, left, right,
north, south or rogue direction.
Stumble, blood rising
as you’re caught in clever.
Look well and close
as eye-tricks whittle your wits.
This way, that, no rescue.
You are only diminished.
What might be lurking
in the twist and turn,
danger or idea.
A wind that lies or a winged creature
that knows nothing of forgiveness.


Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, The Saint Ann’s Review, and others. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently Happy Darkness. She’s also published short fiction, essays, and stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.