MIDNIGHT WALK

      Walking through the dark trees,
      My steps sending little puffs of dust
      Over the small curling ferns crouching.
     The faint shine of a white petal
     Breaks through the intense darkness,
     Until a sudden throw of moonlight
     Brings the pale anemones,
     The golden celandine,
     Into perfect life on the woodland floor.

     I hear the soft shuffling of birds in their nests,
     Heads tucked under their wings,
     Deeply sleeping.
     Then the tiny bubbling of water running
     Down the little, half-hidden stream,
     Throwing the odd diamond drop
     Onto the yellow primrose.

     Here, small brown creatures
     Slip in and out of the freezing water,
     Icy, from the still snow laden hills so faraway
     This wood never thinks of them.
     Nor do we, until, we, too, are frozen.

     Out of the trees, onto the edge of the fields
     That stretch into the darkness,
     The small growings rustling an excited invitation
     To walk the night
     Over ploughed earth and stony frost sparkling
     To the far wood, which magic is held to own.
     But I turn back, not ready to meet a veiled magician
     Of spite, dead things and stagnant water.
     And the trees swallow me
     As a shadow is swallowed by darkness.

     Now the wood shakes itself,
     The trees whispering of this returned presence
    Walking their quiet and mossy paths.
     And I turn for home,
     To the lovely fragrance of wild roses
     In the hedgerows.

                                    © Gwen Grant

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