after Rene Lynch’s exhibition of paintings by the same name
I am a romantic. This despite the birds in my hair.
I’ve wandered too far off the path collecting flowers,
simply because I wanted more.
The air around me turns metallic.
My dress and skin are thin as mist,
you can see the blue beneath.
The forest sways above me, my arms become branches.
In thirty years, will there still be swallows
to pick the gold from my hair?
Wolves chasing my ankles?
So many children lost to the forest,
simply swallowed by thickets.
Trails of breadcrumbs and crumpled notes.
I’m looking out for myself. I know the red dusk,
the teeth and claws of darkness, the folly
of wearing leaves for a blanket. Anywhere I go,
I’ll bring a set jaw and outstretched hand.
Jeannine Hall Gailey
(from Unexplained Fevers)