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A Familiar Forest
How many times can one get lost in the same familiar forest? As my mind wanders from the safe confines of now, beyond the clean, green lawn and fence of today, it follows faded footprints along a vague, sloping path. Downward, slowly at first with a subtle twist here and there another turn taking me down. I know the forest is there with its w h i s p e r i n g w i n d s and shifting shadows. I hear the h u s h e d m u r m u r of rustling rusted leaves. Creaking and cracking, the reaching branches are waving for me to come. I start to stop, near not in the forest, just to peek, to peer into the dark jade almost living green shadows. Every tree leans to greet me, glowering, towering just over my bowing head. I know every tree, every bush and v i n e each root and t e n d r i l that reaches out to catch my passing feet and slow my pathetic progress to . . . ? There is no ‘to’, there is only ‘through’ this groping, choking forest. At least, I hope there is. There are living things that scurry behind, between, around the trunks and thick bristling bushes. I know there are more dead that lie in wait buried beneath the blackness in rank, damp hidden places. They will not stay dead, for I am their resurrection. I fear finding them and facing their brutal rebirth. Oh, the weeping willow with shifting shapes rising and reaching, crying and calling. I can’t go beneath its s n a k i n g limbs to the writhing darkness where the dead things wait for my wild wailing to breathe life and pain into fetid lungs formed from my fears and hate. Where is my path? Let me go back to my clean, green lawn with my safe flower bed to lay my head on. Even the roses with thorns on their stems are comforting pains that prove I’m alive. Even though spiders spin webs on my eyes, I choose to see them in amber sunshine. Give me today. Tomorrow my mind will wander.
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