Un-alone in the Woods
by Elizabeth Frank
“without the eyes and brain, there’s no such thing as color.”
-The Secret Language of Color, Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut
The snowflakes, whirling in circles are not white, the chickadee hopping higher, branch to branch, is not black-capped
the branches are not brown
the pines, towering and slowly swaying, are not faded green
the bushes’ berries, swinging from toothpick stems, are not crimson
until I see them.
Your eyes, from your side of the path are not pleading or cutting
until they meet mine, my touch neither kind nor cold
until you feel.
From my edge, I wonder what is this mystery we manifest
this tent of slanted branches cupped by earth, matched at jagged
A fragile meeting of such need and weight, each
without the other, nothing but a flat, splintered stick
waiting to rot.
Yet we, having been brought together (how else
to explain our soaring height, the cathedral of space
we are a shelter for pine needles and berries, for twigs and chickadees,
and what amazes me most is all that depends on the choice
to face each other and lean in.