Tall pines, a ridge of stone–
bones of Earth.
All summer our small band
wandered with our sticks,
pretending danger till

she appeared, real, (her red shawl,
her cane) and we fled.  Out, out 
of my woods, she always said.
So we feared
and loved the forest more.

Fifty years gone by,
a forest of my own,
its stillness my solace.
Sunset, moonrise,
slant the light alike.

I walk alone among the pines,
follow the fox, listen for owls.
Now in autumn,
I’m watching for the hazel,
its late, late yellow bloom.

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