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The Child in the Woods

Page history last edited by Peg Syverson 11 years, 8 months ago

Where did you go? Out. What did you do? Nothing.


The Child in the Woods


You go there, where the edge is

and peer into the deep, waiting

mystery. There is no why.

You step over the threshold

and the woods close behind you.

A bright red leaf on the trail

you pick it up and spin it in the dappled light

a long twig with a funny shape

you tap it on the ground, edge forward

with eyes closed, like

being blind

you stumble on a buried root, your eyes

fly open. Dust motes sparkle, catch

the sun. There is a stretch of mud

the hoofprint of a deer. You keep going

deeper into the mystery. A bird watches

from a branch, another cries overhead

you do not know their names, or care

a rock shaped like a heart—into the pocket!

a little rise, you clamber up

and see the view below, the houses far away

the earth tugs, you drop and tumble down

the grassy slope. A slender stream slips

through the trees right there.

You kneel to see if there are any fish

cold water clear enough to see each pebble

down below. Sun sparkles on ripples, so

dazzled and still you fall into light dancing on water

you disappear without a trace,

borne fifty years into the future

into a quiet study, lined with books

a table with a single sheet of paper

and this very pen, moving.

The sun weakens in the afternoon sky, the

shadows grow deeper and the air is cooling,

reluctantly you turn toward home;

close the door gently, the woods have vanished

a clatter of dishes, supper is ready. In time for grace,

you take your place.

Peg Syverson

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