What the Forest Said


Know this. The desire
to remember everything
I faced during a winter
without snow in the valley
where I grew leafless
impatient by the hour,
naked to hungry axes.
Blind to their steeled hate.
Fire without smoke.

It was a dream, I know.
Nothing more
a small moment waking
as the slower light thawed
my body, weak and legless
into startled silence.

In solitude my blood rose
and ran towards green light.
My body a slivered sun reflected
in a pooling black mirror.
Wood offerings. Burnt Saints
done up in Sienna.
Wholly consumed in storm
by a grief wider than this
reluctant dawn.

The wind chooses what to hear
and what to believe.
Who am I to ask? Wearied
by hope. Wounded by wisdom.
Abandoned by lightning’s
reluctance to strike.