Forested Hope

The sky is dark,
the woods are quiet – 
footsteps in the snow like the soft hums of traffic.
A twig snaps,
an animal scampers,
and now the forest has a heartbeat of its own.
I wait with bated breath,
nerves tingling at my sides.
Shivers crawl when I hear it,
a door being leaned on.
I turn and see a light 
flash through a window through a home that’s just appeared.
There is magic in the cool air of winter.
Bitten frost shielded by furs,
I make my way to the home and knock.
I sense an eye watching me, contemplating,
and I know I won’t get what I want.
The door opens and I am blasted by it all – 
the wind, the face, the memories.
Pain and wrath and hope run through me,
and I am left desperate, urging you to feel the same.
As the moon cackles and the trees titter,
I know the answer at once.
A journey it was for me,
Another day just for you.

It is happening again.
A line said out of humour is taken as a slight – 
a twisted meaning,
an unintentional reflection.
I shrink myself in every way I know –
into myself, my hair, my words.
I am too much, 
I take it too far,
and we are roots of two very different trees.

I stutter a step back,
let the door close the words
threatening to topple over themselves in my throat:
Why not?

Wanda Halabis

Wanda Halabis is a woman obsessed with the written word. When she isn’t writing, she spends far too much time reading. Visit awomanofmanynames.com for more of her work.