the woman in the woods


in paces way and wandering, footsteps look for light
by the change of seasons, the treetops find them bright
by the curl of flowers,
by the base of oak,
the woman wakes in springtime
withheld from winter's choke.

in waves her hair unravels, fraught with sticks and blades of grass
her thoughts, a shadow's hollow, her dreams in color as they pass
winter has not been kind this year
it's left her hands so cold
even in the rising heat
the leaves around her fold.

her eyes blaze gold and sun-specks
as the ice inside her melts
her bones remember fury
her heart remembers help.
the seasons ask so much of her
and when the spring stops by
she gives herself away in pieces
bound beneath the sky.

a winter witch is never seen
bare white against the snow
but in this green she cannot hide
and has no place to go.

she scrapes the tree bark bare when she rests against its frame
her nails the shade of robin's egg, her fingers carve her name.
though the warmth is welcome
and the spring begins the year
as she hears the forest waken
she learns the truth of fear.


copyright © Joanna Truman