I cross a wooden bridge.
A stand of dark red trillium
waits for my attention.
White violets and crested dwarf iris
sit quietly at trail’s edge. Birdsong begins.
Butterflies dance. Jack in the Pulpit presides.
River birch, pine and poplar stand tall.
Rippling water stills my thoughts.
I can taste the wind.
Soon pink lady slipper will bloom,
then purple rhododendron.
I know every season at this forest.
I fell in love here long ago,
found comfort on this path,
met parts of me I did not know,
told secrets never spoken.
Trees made promises
then asked for mine.
I fill myself with peace and hope when I am here
then give it all away when I am gone.
This poem won 1st place in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th Anniversary Poetry Competition.
Used here with the author’s permission.