He wanted to see the wood one last time.
So, they took him back to trees dripping and bare,
wading through dead leaves, last season’s remains.
Take your time, retreating to leave him stood
in that opening, under a gaunt-white sky,
where once, summer high, a green-leafed roof swayed.
Light, sparkling, found its way through to this same glade:
the thrown bike’s wheel flickering grasshopper song,
as he pushed aside ferns twice his height. Sensing
the sure-footed trail through deep, warm undergrowth.
Whatever day you came, something had changed,
grown or gone. This natural palimpsest.
Palimpsest. Lost in the midst, knowing your place;
immersed in the invisible. Waiting. Still.
To see what would not be seen – a sense that –
It’s no good. This time of year, they offered,
disappointed for him in what they saw.
Head back? Behind glass, dark trunked reflections
run off windows into a closing sky,
past high wind-whispering hedges to stark street lights.
Home. Cocooned. Words half-heard. Yet something remains.
Back there, isolated dark patches spread
like spilt ink. The waking night, the sleeping day.
Seasons will return; scattered lives restored.
Always the same, yet nothing as before.