In August, the leaves still reflected green
A defiant display of vibrant youth
But in the dark they rustle black warnings
That I was out of my element.
Car abandoned on the roadside, I roam
Through the dark woods towards the light
Glimmering between the thick growth
Beckoning me with the promise of aid.
Warmed perfume of the natural mulch
Triggers memories from my childhood
Of hunting pinecones with family
For a Thanksgiving Day centerpiece.
An odd quiet resides in these woods
I hardly notice from lack of familiarity
But I realize I’m straining to hear bugs or birds
As I walk further from the highway.
The ground crunches beneath me, announcing my advance
While I make my way along the shrouded path
I feel the light ahead calling to me
The only thing here I can clearly see.
The woods part to reveal a clearing
Where the ground is barren and clean
The light fills this area in bluish brilliance
But no house or building is near.
I look up and see the sky above
Full of stars and the laughing moon
Flooding light into this natural container
As if the trees were a dam holding it in.
I look at my hands, illuminated to white
The light shines on them, through them
And I feel myself begin to float
As I become part of that celestial light.
Recalling the deer that ran into the road
I remember now swerving to miss her
Instead hitting a tree and stopping suddenly
Too suddenly for me, I now realize.
Is this how it’s done? What will happen to me?
I wonder as I drift through the night so easily
And the light is warm and brighter still
As I leave the dark woods behind.
October 6, 2006