Bon Courage

Why are the woods so alluring? A forest appears

to a young girl one morning as she combs

the dreams out of   her hair. The trees rustle

and whisper, shimmer and hiss. The forest

opens and closes, a door loose on its hinges,

banging in a strong wind. Everything in the dim

kitchen: the basin, the jug, the skillet, the churn,

snickers scornfully. In this way a maiden

is driven toward the dangers of a forest,

but the forest is our subject, not this young girl.

She’s glad to lie down with trees towering all around.

A certain euphoria sets in. She feels molecular,

bedeviled, senses someone gently pulling her hair,

tingles with kisses she won’t receive for years.

Three felled trees, a sort of chorus, narrate

her thoughts, or rather channel theirs through her,

or rather subject her to their peculiar verbal

restlessness …    our deepening need for non-being intones

the largest and most decayed tree, mid-sentence.

I’m not one of you squeaks the shattered sapling,

blackened by lightning. Their words become metallic

spangles shivering the air. Will I forget the way home?

the third blurts. Why do I feel like I’m hiding in a giant’s nostril?

the oldest prone pine wants to know. Are we being   freed

from matter? the sapling asks. Insects are well-intentioned,

offers the third tree, by way of consolation. Will it grow

impossible to think a thought through to its end? gasps the sapling,

adding in a panicky voice, I’m becoming spongy! The girl

feels her hands attach to some distant body. She rises

to leave, relieved these trees are not talking about her.

Amy Gerstler

CultFit Twirl

5 Comments on “Bon Courage”

  1. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  2. gardenmo says:

    Thank you. I enjoyed this very much. 🙂

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