Girl in the Woods

By Rachel Barton


girl in the woods

hair wild with twigs

could be eating dirt

or sucking roots

her skin the color of bark


I expect she may have grown

at least in knowledge

living with the leaves  and bones

of trees for so long

trace of her in the ash


trunk sheathed in lichen

branches festive with clumps of moss

a scattering of red leaves like torn ribbons

and in the boughs of the larch

a light snow of reindeer lichen like lace


smell of the woods follows me

from any tree standing close

she is in my breath  my lungs

the sap of her my blood

she breathes me in