Sling your knapsack across your back,
or spotted handkerchief over your shoulder.
The trees are close and thick in there –
do not hack the branches, or knock
the sick leaves down. Do not take a torch
or breadcrumbs. Let nobody follow you.
You can tell your story when you emerge.
If you emerge, you will not want
to tell your story. So
you will learn the look on disappointed faces.
Or, to pacify, tell how once you witnessed
an owl, drift
in the mind of the trees, passing
wide as paper against the sky.