She leaned close enough that I could smell the snuff
That swam around in her mouth minus the teeth to hold it in place.
Keep the red slashes on your right as you go out she croaked.
You’ll get twisty turny up tword the rocks , but always to your right-the slashes.
When you’ve had enough,
Put them on your left to come back.
How would I know when I’d had enough?
It didn’t seem like a question I could ask her.
She straightened only a bit, enough to lift her stick in the direction we faced
On your left to return, she repeated. Or we’ll probably not see you again.
I looked back after a few steps and she waved me on with the back of her hand.
A “shooing” motion.
When I turned after a few more paces,
She was gone, a red slash on the tree where she’d been