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