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A Haunting Wooded Tale

,It's like some long lost fairy tale That's handed down through time But couldn't be, as you will see For this strange tale is mine. I chose to take a country road I do from time to time To enjoy the crisp cool English day Then later a choice wine. I often wear my beaver hat Today I did the same A sharp wind snatched it from my head And chase the hat became the game. Long later, giving up the chase When turning back I chance to see A small, long bearded, wrinkled man Time bent and elderly. In a knarled hand sure as I stand He gasped my beaver tight Quick as you please in a clump of trees He stepped quite out of sight. So we were off, the old man slow Myself quite fresh and young At first he limped and then he skipped And broke out in a song. (Song) This young man who pursues me Is quite a fiesty guy He's swift of foot but presently He'll find he's not so spry. The ancient Yews engulf us But deeper must I go Now kicking in, my second wind With nimble feet, that once were slow. What song is this; I balled my fist Confusion creased my brow. How came he to outdistance me? Why are my breaths so labored now? He reached a wide and healthy stream But took it in a single bound A twist of fate and my last hope That that might slow him down. Then I myself reaching the stream Bent down to take a sip But froze as my reflection showed The gray that sprang from head to lip. Those graying hairs ran down my chin And stopped somewhere mid-breast. My lungs let out a awful cry That pierced the dank dark wilderness. 'What dastard sorcerer's trick is this? He's hexed me with a curse.' Still on he fled more swiftly And sang another verse. (Song) These woods keep close a secret That baffles time and mind. They're generous to the very old But to the young not quite so kind. I stumbled on most blindly; If not for sound of song I would'nt know which way to go. My hope of catching him long gone. The worry of which way to go Soon faded in the light Of what appeared to be a town. 'Street lights'? That can't be right. And so beneath one light I spied (My aging vision fading fast) A nmph with finger tips of gold Perched just above an hour glass. The hour glass stood most 12 feet And as the nmph began to sway She sang a sad and mournful song; Then birds appeared; a vast array. The birds trilled sweet condolenses. Each one brought her a flower. She turned them into dust of gold, Enough to fill the hour. Amazement urged my aging feet To closer view the town And like a heavy-handed blow A strong wind slammed me to the ground. A realm of slight and wondrous sights, Still I noticed straight away The town which had been all too real Was shrinking, fading fast away. Dazed, I sat upon the ground When smiling ear to ear And wearing, yes, my beaver hat A young man did appear. He faced me squarely , one on one, On his face a daring smirk And if I could but knuckle up His jaw would feel real hurt. 'These woods are old and ancient And brimming full you see With things as old as time itself And many other things to be.' He winched and then he grew quite tense I sensed in him a need to go Still I motioned to the empty space Of a town with nothing left to show. 'The town with all it's wonders Is always there my friend You have to be invited But you're not old enough youngman.' A querry to be pondered. I stroked my chin hairs gray; Assured him how,if years from now I'd surely find a way. 'You're young but when your time is come You'll know the 'where and how,' Now if you'd win your youth again The time to leave is now.' He tossed my hat up to the wind. 'Go, let the beaver be your guide, Back through the dark and ancient woods Past the stream,to gain outside.' I crawled and stumbled as I strove To keep the beaver in my sight And prayed that I would gain my goal; Be rid of woods and feel sunlight. And all that which I thought was lost Took hold and had it's way (A sensation of returning youth; The darkening hairs; the fading gray) The stream seemed but a paltry thing And easy to transverse, I found A parody, for now it's me Who took it in a single bound. Gaining now a healthy pace I knew that it would not be long My heart was racing happily So I broke out in song. (Song) 'The very narrow exit Is now within my view And 'oh', 'I do so want to dance,' Then did a twirl or two.' My steps went slack when I looked back Sheer horror filled my face. The woods; the darkness; everything Was fading out; a quick erase. I trembled at how rapidly This plight was closing fast behind Then raced with renewed strenght and cried 'Oh God in Heaven give me time.' I reached the exit just ahead Of the vaccum gaping at my heels And tasted briefly quick relief. Yet lived to down a bitter pill. My hand had not quite cleared the hole. I watched it dissipate. Too shocked to know if there was pain. The scream that came, came much too late. And I was peeved when no one believed My haunting wooded tale. With high degree they laughed at me And some cried psych ward, others jail. I know people will be people But now for me, I'm prone to be Always trailing down some country road On the look out for Yew trees. I always wear my beaver hat And pray for a strong wind; My ticket to that exit Where I lost my good right hand. Or maybe an old gentleman Will show up to guide me in. A pair of seasoned strangers Could become the best of friends. RETA PRUITT August 10,2018

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 8/9/2019 12:45:00 PM
Hello Reta Pruitt, I really enjoyed this poem. You seem to have a good imagination. Have a nice day my friend.
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