“It’s dark under the trees,” she said
as we walked beneath their vault.
“Look,” I pointed. Fireflies gleamed
like candles in the dusk.
We saw the river silent in the trees,
full beyond its banks with rain,
smelled its lifeblood from the path.
Sweet privet blooms perfumed our way.
Below the bridge, we watched the creek
and river join—the leaves and twigs
swirling in the eddies—breathed deep
the sacrament of water and earth.
We prayed to the kudzu-covered
oaks holding out their leafy arms,
ancient gods enrobed in green,
and sought their absolution.
On our way home, we picked a branch,
its perfect arc aglow with tiny stars.
We thanked the forest for its gift,
and brought it home to bless our altar.
Cover image by Wai Siew.