The Dappled Forest

The Dappled Forest

In the old stories, one tree looks just like another
and soon, you are hopelessly lost.

You come to a clearing— a cottage— and your panic melts.
You just feel sheepish, relieved.

Smoke, the sweet smell of barbeque, pours from the roof—
maybe they’ll ask you to lunch. The knocker crumbles like sugar.

Naive to think that things are better, just because
we can see the sun. The old ones knew about shadows,

how night is the shadow of Earth, and the absence of light
is the least of what blooms at dusk.

The forest reveals itself in moist fragrance, quiet tones of rust
and green, in stillness the brilliance of daylight dissolves.

Turn and re-enter the uncertain light,
where your lost heart weeps and your spirit delights.

Chuck Madansky