La forêt

By Ellen Bao

We once settled in a forest
where it never rained

yet the fresh ferns could grow and
grow into an enormous shelter

the sunlight there was green
every leaf breathed magic

we thought that in the forest one day
we would find an elephant.

For all the years I was away
the forest was there in me

but when I return, looking
out only to find a few weary trees
hardly covering
the bruised earth

at night the big forest shrinks
before my eyes
when I reach out my arms to touch it it
bursts
into flame.

Was there ever a forest?
my premature body bears no
testimony.

Where did the forest go?

Where do the memories go
when we have lost them?


Photograph: Joshua Mayer via Creative Commons and Flickr

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