Crossing the bridge

  balsam scents

the air. Climbing

a steep hill, careful

not to tread

on wild lilies

or arbutus, I

follow a serpentine trail

to the porch.

The decrepit screen door

squeaks as I enter

a small oasis

open on three sides

to woods and stream.

Trees obscure

all but one glimpse

of blue and green

 – the brook

is less than 20 feet


The spell of water

singing to stone

soothes this strangled

body – exhausted

from anxieties she can

no longer contain.

I come here to 

seek peace,

 recover a self who

 once felt joy –

Do those children

still live?

I query the forest

for help.

 Star flowers

 bloom at my feet.

For now

it is enough

to feel the pulsing

 presence of

 young life

circling the camp.

The cedar hid herself 

behind a balsam

 to outwit the deer.

More firs

spread their grace

over the old deck

needle deep.

An old gray birch

still rots


 healthy saplings,

hemlock and pine,

perhaps providing

protection from

 dis – ease.*

This old camp is

returning to earth

as I will be

one day…

but for now

it is enough

to lie down

with the trees,

finding refuge

 in Green.


Forest Scientist Susan Simard’s research indicates that birches may protect firs from root pathogens like Armillaria.

2 thoughts on “Refuge

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