|THE LOVERS’ FOREST
The pines combed out the thunderstorm,
Untangling rain from air.
The slanting sunbeams of late day
Fell, like Rapunzel’s golden hair,
And seemed to push the dusk away.
We could have climbed them, hand in hand,
Up to the apex of the warm
Sweetness that covered sea and land.
The sun drew vapor from the ground,
Concealing us in lace.
The world had never seemed as new
As in that shadow-haunted place,
Sheltered by cedar, oak, and yew.
The winds’ conversing, and the shade
Of rhododendrons would surround
Whatever quiet love we made.
The summer flowers’ painted rhyme
Told more than we could say:
Red peonies threw heat like coals
Against the lilies’ deep display
Of radiance. Night-blooming souls
Flared, where we saw a rose conspire
With velvet moths, to hold back time
While sunset drowned the world in fire.
We wandered down a wooded bank
To where the twilight glowed
On a dead bird, a dented can.
The withered branch that touched the road
Cradled the sun within its span
And hung dry leaves across my view.
Then, as the light grew cold, and sank,
It framed my final glimpse of you.
© 2001 by Ellin Anderson. This poem first appeared in Volume XI of The Longfellow Society Journal (October 2000). All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used in any way without written permission from the author.