Amidst the trees, within the woods
A brook called to me, the sound of a rill.
It called my name, an ancient word
I had not heard.
Up the bank and through the leaves
Still moist from days of dew and shadows long.
The air was thick and laden well
With the smell
Of rotting wood mixed with rain.
And, through the branches, the brook
I found; it’s water splashing about the ground.
The calmness spread around about
Like fog that wrapped as if in doubt.
I crouched beside the forming pool
Of water clear and smooth.
On peering down, I startled saw
A face that first was foreign, strange,
But transformed slowly to myself, framed,
By ripples, grasses, the forest itself.
Who is this image
shining back? So primitive, yet myself.
It’s God’s reflecting glass that gives me pause
As to who I am and who I was.
But, then, my eye caught the face near me.
Staring back as if to see
What danger lurked. Was he afraid of
My reflection that him might see? And I caught the eye
Mirrored back at me.
He did not move.
He did not blink.
His preservation was at the brink of
Looking through the water blue
Into the eye of my image true.
Who’d move first?
Did he know me,
From a life before, or yet to be?
The time passed slowly, forever it seemed,
Then the otter, he backed away,
So slowly as if not seen;
And was swiftly gone, blending into green.
Sandra Fox Murphy
Photo: Stephan Morris
© 2016 Sandra Fox Murphy. All rights reserved.