A Walk Through a Summer Forest

The park was off the main road 
Just down a side street
The entrance hidden in plain view
No fancy sign announced it
Just the simplest of gates

A hard packed dirt path
Leads between the trees
Into a world so different,
So distant,
From modern society

A small wooden bridge
One of the only clues
That humans know of this place

Birds sing above in the trees
Carelessly
Not wary of the human traffic
That lines the streets
Just beyond the borders
Of this pocket universe

Leaves backlit by the sun
Appear like green gold
A fancy domed ceiling
Like a sacred chapel

Mushrooms and moss
Are the trinkets
That decorate this
Open concept room

Trees of different species
Mingle comfortably
With no discrimination
In this safe space

The bugs, the security guards,
Usher me along
The tourist trail,
Tapping me on the shoulder
When I linger too long

Different paths branch off
And with no map of the kingdom
I pick the broadest one
Lest the fae entrap me
At the end of the other ones
(Not that that would be so bad
If the security guards didn't
Make so many tasteless jokes
About torture)

One of the shy citizens,
A snake, slithers
Out of sight

I pass by two ponds
One small, clear, hidden
The other large and in plain view
And covered in algae like a carpet
This second one feels like a fae trap
As the algae looks solid enough
To walk across
And a wide path even leads down
To its edge, and seemingly continues
On the other side

A frog croaks
Asking why
I won't cross

Another set of branching paths
I chose the one that I believe
Loops back around to the entrance

There are more mushrooms
Along this particular path
Nestled amongst groups of ferns
I am too entranced
To notice where the path winds
As it bends in a new direction

When I finally look up
I stand at the forest's edge
A barbed wire fence
Bars the way into a farmer's field
This was not where I intended to be

When I try to turn back
I struggle to percieve the path
Have the fae entrapped me?
Should I have not followed
The mushrooms so willingly?

My will is as strong as theirs!
I shall not be shamed
Nor become a damsel in distress!

Over there is a wide opening
Between the trees
And there the hard packed dirt
Up further ahead a boardwalk
Sorry, not today, oh fae!

Moss draped over rocks
The perfect tablecloth
For a teaparty
Attended by butterflies

A squirrel dashes
Leaps gracefully
Across the stream
The bridge appears ahead
My time here is nearly spent

I linger beneath the chapel ceiling
Praying that I may again return
That I may not forget this place
When I leave, and the bustle in the street
Makes it feel like it was all
Just a dream

7 thoughts on “A Walk Through a Summer Forest

  1. This sounds a bit like the pathways around a park near my local library. A figure 8 that also has some little paths leading to different parks and places to sit by little ponds and the last standing farmhouse…
    Mostly shaded too! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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