As if they were three frail boats, opening their feathers like ragged sails.
Each day I walk through a forest with somebody’s name
carved on a tree. In the winter, I had seen peacocks
and hens, and like the old story, birds flew before me: feathers
wet with snow. Each of us alone unafraid were trespassing
through cemetery trees. Tomorrow it would be
someone else walking and listening to the forest.
I whisper the blind man’s ashes, powdery and grey
a chimney of mist leaves my mouth, forms
a dull sentence. Forest deer ramble on their way,
never a sermon or a regret. The trees clutch their green
prayer shawls, tremble in the snow. My footprints fill.
The forest becomes an unblinking eye, silver and blue,
cold and fearless. It is yesterday, yesterday still.
A deer dreams of my strangeness, smells my winter skin.
Laurie Byro has been facilitating “Circle of Voices” poetry discussion in New Jersey libraries for over 16 years. Laurie was named “Poet of the Decade” by the Interboard Poetry Community as her poems received awards 42 times including 2012 Poem of the Year as judged by Toi Derricotte.