The forest king’s son hides in plain sight, the colour of dry spruce bark and fallen needles. How long must the spruce tree and frog have lived side by side to match each other’s skins?
Down by the dry August riverbed, in the dark hollow, tree stumps watch with implacable empty eyes. Boreal chickadees swoop around me to land on dead branches like the notes of an insistent living song.
High on the hillside big old maples and moss-trunked beech listen to the young trees shush and dapple light. This part of the forest is quiet and brooding in high summer, shaded by leaves. The ground is wound with roots, like the woven fingers of old people, waiting.
Here in the deep woods and at its edge with the sparse grassed field, the summer ebbs.
The plants put forth their seed-down, ready to let go, to release next years hope into the wind.