Dusty Poetry #81

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Through the Wooded Door

I walked a path toward a wood,
A forest black in truth and name,
For on its edge, I had long stood,
And something new I yearned to claim.

I left the places light perceives
And journeyed through the wooded door
Beneath the whisper of the leaves,
Through shadows cast across the floor.

A watchful owl sat perched ahead,
With feathers white, and eyes that glow,
Spoke a sound to wake the dead
Who might be napping just below.

Fear demanded, “reverse course!”
But I continued on instead
More quickly, but with no remorse,
For the route that I had tread

Forward, forward, into blackness
Armed with nothing but a light
Onward, onward, with no slackness
Of my steps into the night.

Along a twisting, winding trail,
I walked ’til I lost track of time,
Until I saw upon a hill,
A house with steps for me to climb.

There seemed to be no need to knock,
I pressed my hand upon the door,
I was unimpeded by a lock,
So I ventured through the wood once more.

The creaking boards beneath my feet
Spoke loudly as I looked about,
As did the woman in a seat,
Who at my presence gave a shout.

My heart stopped first, then so did I,
Though my thoughts raced to the door,
She demanded that I tell her why
I stood there thus upon her floor.

She was pale and silver, stooped and old,
Her eyes alight with fear and fury,
I mumbled apologies and told
Her that she had no need to worry.

As I explained to her my wooded walk
Her eyes relaxed but not her scowl
When I paused for her to talk
She asked why I had ignored the owl.

I told her that I could not heed
The warnings of the watchful bird
For greater still had been my need
Than calls for caution that I’d heard.

She broke the silence with a cackle
And asked about my great desire
I heard a sound, a burning crackle,
And smelled the burning of a fire.

As scents of smoke soon filled my nose
With unease I told her swiftly
Then I watched her as she rose
And to my astonishment she kissed me.

The old woman, old no longer,
Transformed before me to her prime,
Her cheeks were flushed, her body stronger,
“I give to you abundant time.”

I looked down next and saw my body
Lifeless on the aging floor,
And a thought came to me oddly,
As though I’d seen this scene before.

Forward, forward, out of blackness
I ran toward home without a light
Onward, onward, with no slackness
Of my steps into the night.

I emerged out of the trees,
Sometime later – days or weeks –
With a gift no man could seize
Though he diligently seeks.

11 thoughts on “Dusty Poetry #81

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I don’t usually know what I’m going to write until I start writing. It ended up feeling very Grimm-ish. That imagery was fun to work with and I enjoyed burying some mystery and metaphors in the piece.