THE CABIN (in the woods)

It’s Poetry. As far as I can tell, this goes here? Think I may be the first?
Oh, c’mon, don’t head for the hills, now! LOL! I used to hate poetry too! Then one day when I took an adult-ed Creative Writing class (like to write) and was asked to write a poem, I can’t tell you, how annoyed I was that our very first assignment was to write a stupid poem! In the end I gave in. As it turned out, that first poem received such wide praise from the instructor (and the class) that it encouraged me to write more poetry. But will submit that “first” poem another time. I only wrote about 6 poems and that was well over 25 years ago, and none, since. The one below is one of my favs, one that I felt compelled to write after a visit with my sister at the hospital who had just had a baby. That day, I got off on the wrong floor that had a lot of rooms with senior patients in them. I can’t seem to forget this one woman who was doubled over in a fetal position, no blanket. She was so frail, just skin and bones and had to be well in her 90s: she moaned incessantly. Like all the other seniors there, she was alone. And it was visiting hours. I felt so sad for them, all. Later, I wrote the following poem. Whenever I read it, I always think of that old woman all scrunched up like a discarded piece of paper. THE CABIN, abandoned in the woods is about that. It is written in narrative format.
I better apologize now because it absolutely stinks of perfumed writing!!


Sunbeams fall in hushed regard like naughty whispers on tiptoe; they wonder, will passage be granted this time for they long to see the abandoned one that the ever-vigilant forest matriarchs hide beneath its skirts. They sense the orphan that now has many mothers for they had felt her warmth and were naturally attracted to it. The radiance from her ground slung cradle had tickled their toes and had flamed their curiosity. But each time they sought a way down to her, ancient boughs locked arms that passage be denied. Soon, their sun-made trail of awkward sorry-kisses gave up its gild to shade.

Hidden below, the waif though small is stoic. She is hardwood. She needs no sun, no sky save the cathedral of conifers that protect her – this, their familiar. Her garment is woodland kin: caped in sugar pine and maple umber, her eaves a festival in yellow: honeysuckle and alder leaves, her cheeks a blush of pink Wisteria, damp with morning dew - the mothers dress their foundling, well.

But time, never gentle, has hollowed her hair in places; now a disjointed vertebra of black pitch and mildewed spruce, mere dangling splinters sagging tenuously beside fragmented eyes – the shattered prisms that mirror the guardians that surround her in viridian sway. Her eyes reply back, equally emerald, equally tender between her thinning cheeks.

She looks to neither side but straight into the abyss where a labyrinth of briers voids her path, gates all entrance, while in sentry at her heels, thickets weave a watchful web about her hem.

Her mornings, joyous and lively, din with the chatter of all things a-wing, but it is for the sounds of night that she waits: for the fantasia wafting in the dark, the duel of cricket and pond frog - the melodic nod that signals day is done and reverie begun. Even the great tawny owl forgoes the want of prey, its lustful appetite assuaged by the soothing sounds of days recline here in the sylvan seclusion tipped in moonlight and bathed in tranquil veneer.

Oh, but she is inquisitive this delight of night, her mouth ever fixed in open gape, in questioning way, always testing the air for new information that it might lessen her vacancy. Once she thought she read of brine in the rain - evidence of distance waters? Perhaps, of places beyond the tall mothers? But the wind, ever mindful, blustering and posturing quickly blew all trace away. Such trespass must not be allowed. The forest matriarchs, perhaps too stern, will not suffer the child with curiosities that invoke longing, invasions that inspire expectation. Why rain hope where purpose is ended? The mothers fiercely guard against all fruitless intent.

She however was truly blessed, for in the last hour that claimed her, the wind wide with wailing, weakened by sorrow fell to ground amid the squall of weeping trees. Finally, one by one each sought the empty weight of silence - the lesser burden to bear. She sleeps now, this best loved - in the many tender arms, where in like repose, she waned, adored.