Forest.

In the forest

The woods are quiet:
So am I,
pulling streaks of cloud through my crooked fingers.

But I can feel it,
feel it in marrow and gristle,
I can feel
leaves and bark,
sticks and stones,
root and sap.

I can hear
creaking wood,
squirrel paws,
and the wind breathing through my ribs:
tastes like pine needles and damp moss.

The ground is soft,
soft and wet,
as if someone had been crying here.
Not me.
Not anymore.

I remember
falling
scraping my palms on rough bark,
scratching my skin raw on the thorny darkness.
Then,
I was so tired,
laying down in the blueberry leaves
saw the moon
stuck
in the dew of a spider’s web.

The screams are far away, far away now.
I didn’t listen,
I was already sleeping.
But a small animal is breathing into my ear now,
whispering its name,
and I think:
That’s my name too.

 Copyright Maria Haskins 2015

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This poem can be found in my book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’.

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