Sometimes I forget how the silence filled
the forest like smoke-sprawl,
how the trees leaned across the stream
to listen for the next breathe of news.
It’s hard to say what caught my eye
as I climbed down from the reading tree —
the one I read aloud to because leaves understand
more languages than sunlight and chlorophyll.
Leaf litter divulged a relic it had held for more than a century,
a handmade tool, chipped by hammerstone —
a curved flake of flint, crafted with the care
of a sculptor who needed this creation to survive.
When I held this fragment of the past, rubbed it clean,
it summoned the sinew of deer scraped free from
hide, swaths of white birch sliced flawlessly for seaming.
The knife’s art come to life. The knife’s life as art form.
And just like that leaves clanged as cymbals,
birds resumed their serenades, and the brook began
her chatter because the forest had spoken.
An ordinary doorway had opened like a portal.