Into the Leaf Gloom

by Halie Theoharides

I do not go back there anymore because my uncle is so bad to everyone I didn’t want to marry so and so I found this hut in the woods this little shed Take me in! Take me back I mean is what I yelled to sheds It was winter I was cold and hungry we all were A woman lay dead on the ground I was far from castles and very confused I healed Women gave birth and I took care of them Women ran to us and children ran to us with blood and berry juice on their faces From the town they all ran away they started to call me when they needed things They forgot I was a Lady so I threw away my dress I wore rags! I started to kill things and care for children and feed them I stood in the river and cut a deer’s throat and the blood sprayed all over Just as a stranger was about to say no blood I sprayed blood And the blood sprayed on my legs and I no longer felt proud I felt sorry and angry and wild and could not fade I wore a green cloak passed down to me by a mythic woman I dyed all my clothes green I fell in love with a wounded man When he was wounded we made no promises He was a stranger with a fever I healed near the ocean I was betrothed already Betrothed to the forest But I loved this man With his rules about blood That I guess were good rules but I hated learning From this man who appeared out of nowhere to teach me When I had been taking care of everyone all winter And building a secret village And sending messages through trees And mixing potions And amputating legs And walking silently I no longer recognized myself when I stood in the water When I walked in and out of the doorway of the green shed When I worked to build a better green shed When I tried to make a roof and fell When I tried to get married and leapt over a fire I said who am I and I kept my promises I blotted my sorrow I danced with flowers in my hair I found my mother in a convent

Halie Theoharides

Halie Theoharides lives in Western Massachusetts and studies poetry, wildlife, and other mysteries. "Into The Leaf Gloom" was written in response to The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson.