The forest thing

Back then the forest growled when you were to stay away, and if you still went in, the bracken ate up every little piece from fingertips to ribs. And in the creaking of the boughs the trees would be licking their lips.

These days Margaid is bent almost double, yet she still watches the forest as it grows tame alongside the village pastures.

The sheep no longer shy away when the sun dips low and shadows lengthen over the knolls; they chew absently and they wander, heedless until one of the dogs comes bounding up. The shepherds are no longer suspicious, but let the sheep graze almost until nightfall.

Margaid watches the forest and grumbles, thinking it does this to spite her. Perhaps only when she is dead and buried will it come back, gnaw up the stray sheep, and set nightmares loose among the cottages again. She is being stubborn but would it not stand to reason that roots can be more stubborn yet?

As the light fails she rises from her seat and stiffly turns for home. Each day, she might not be back again. Each day, she longs to hear the trees as they used to be.

A shrinking space

You’ve left me with a square-ish space

These four walls and hours baked

With horns, insults, demands pounding through.

The drywall can’t hold back the swell

So my space shrinks and time retells

The same stories of trippy, sleepless, broken nights.

Squished and squished and cut down some more

To fit your size, should I go out the door

Not daring to protect my face, my heart,

My lungs that cry to breathe apart

From the taunts that follow masks or medicine.

God forbid that we should be free

To live in peace or quiet or safety

That we should learn from what has kept us whole so far –

So scream and pollute and tear from me

My flags, my stoop, my grocery

And call it your freedom, duly crowned.

More of you

I want to give more than I can

All those years without you

The baked grass of my childhood

And the nights in red and black

It comes with wanting more of you

The yous that I can never meet

Samson hair and fresh-eyed grin

You as you are now

With all you were then