G a r y J . W h i t e h e a d
The child I knew, who has been missing
for years, lies in a shallow not quite grave
in a not quite grove of not quite trees.
There, there is an earthy smell, a hissing
sibilance, like cottonwoods in a breeze
or a cloud of bats waking in a cave.
Sometimes there’s a rustling under my skin,
a not quite life beneath this not quite bark.
Up out of the deadwood, out of the doubt,
smooth and green and full of wonder again,
I can almost find what I want to shout,
the echo used to navigate the dark.