2021: Hour Six – On the Path

Fir needles crunch under my feet
Their menthol scent wafting up
Majestic branches block the sun, keeping the forest floor in shadow
The heat present in the smell of the oils evaporating from their green tips

The rustle of animals around me
The forest floor disturbed makes them sound bigger than they are
It’s just a squirrel or a small bird
Wishing to catch a glimpse of a more reclusive creature

Something tickles the side of my shin
twirls of oval leaves dotted with delicate white flowers
crouch a moment to take in the warm vanilla scent of sweet woodruff

The small wooden structure peaks out behind the trunk of the
Douglas fir I like to climb to watch for visitors
It’s branches like a ladder and in the cool evenings
sometimes graced by the talons of an endangered owl

A tree stump for a step up onto the porch
The small boards creak under my feet
I stride across to my heavy front door
push it open as it scrapes an arc across the wooden floor

I breathe in the sweetness
of coming home

2 thoughts on “2021: Hour Six – On the Path

  1. Fantastic sensory detail! I have NEVER thought about pine as being a menthol scent – but duh! That’s it! I’ve never smelled woodruff, but feel now as though I have. The way this moves the reader through space and time is smoothly done, the reader being ‘tour guided’ through this wilderness. The narrator’s comfort with it, even climbing into the ‘womb’ of the tree to be a voyeur just like the animals of other humans. I especially love the return home and that attention to sound detail – since I also have creaky floorboards and a door that scrapes across the wooden floor. I could completely identify with and also yearned to be fully immersed in this place.

    1. Thank you so much for your generous comments. I am so glad you enjoyed the poem and that it drew you in to that sweet world. It is the story of a place I lived & loved very much many years ago.

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