Doing what the ancestors did so well.
A different world for my modern steps.
Digital, noisy, manmade surfaces, marked trails, traffic.
But in a still moment – under trees,
beside talking water – an ancient voice whispers.
She gestures to me to follow her
deeper into the fog and cold nightfall
away from the known path and home.
I know her, but never met her.
I feel her hand stroke my neck.
A dog finds me resting roadside here
in the woods. He is all energy.
Collared but unleashed, he sniffs – finds me
boring and old – and launches forward again.
I pull up my collar. It’s cold.
Hush of the library as a child.
Reverent hush in a place of worship.
Once, but no more, in a school.
Some say the hush descends, but here,
this cathedral of the forest, it ascends.
Some break under the weight of ice.
I shake the bending snow and ice,
prop up young trees with old branches.
tuck soft limbs into stronger neighboring limbs –
a tuft of hair behind an ear.