In the Mythic Wood
The forest had surrounded us at last, the birdsong ceased
when night crept down from the evergreens on its secret paws.
The breadcrumbs went before we had even noticed, and then
there was nothing to eat, just the quiet of trees rustling ever closer.
The forest had surrounded us at last, its fearsome roots thrusting
gnarled and grasping through the earth, fat firkins falling down,
peppering the ways where there had once been a path. We felt the gall
of oaks at our trespass, the harsh whisper of birches gossiping on our trail.
The forest had surrounded us at last, preventing passages to nearby
candy cottages and unused dwarf mines, pressing further in, creeping close
in its need to pinch our elbows and knees with its own dark-spindled fingers.
The forest had surrounded us, swallowed all our future days,
the bright boats of the sun, the sails of the moon. Nothing left
but to muddle forever in our cloaks on a hummock or an old stump, until
we too rooted and groaned in the relentless drizzle, spreading toes bursting
through shoes into the earth; hair, nails growing green and
greener, burrowing like fierce badgers through the loam,
becoming, leafing into the unknown, terrible (beloved) wood.
Sandra Kasturi is a writer, publisher and editor. She has won several awards, including the Stoker (for editing), ARC magazine’s annual Poem of the Year award, and the Whittaker Prize for Poetry. She is the poetry editor of ChiZine and the co-publisher, with Brett Alexander Savory, of ChiZine Publications. She has written several poetry chapbooks and edited the poetry anthology, The Stars As Seen from this Particular Angle of Night. Sandra is a founding member of the Algonquin Square Table poetry workshop and a member of the MUSE Cooperative.