The Green Man’s Secret
I peered at his face of oak leaves:
body, arms, legs, feet
all leaf and vine, vegetable green.
“Take my hand,” the green man said
in his leafy voice. I held his gnarled hand—
he led me through the starry night.
The air filled with long tailed moths—
fireflies blinked their cold light
I heard the buzz of locusts ringing in the night.
He led me to my father’s grave where
deer grazed moonlit grass
and then felt a stare,
I saw myself in a deer’s eye
as in a dome of glass
his antlers dropped as branches
when the season passed
and sprouted velvet buckhorns
when song birds sang at last.
“All things are made new!”
I shouted in great relief.
“Yes,” the green man said: “I releaf.”
He took me home then
as the sun rose over the hill.
I saw two brown foxes playing:
I saw that all is well.
Excerpted from my book The Wilderness Within