Us, Protectors

forest, mist, nature

Us, Protectors

Chain unchained
Field afar
Run hard mother daughter father

The aroma of sweat and fear
Mingles and clashes
With the alpine odor of the wooded keep

Demons on your heels
Hell hounds on the loose
Here is where the forest becomes either a sanctuary or a rope

Fear not, better angels
For this place is secret-keeper
Find a hearth of tenderness among the loam.

The forest floor swallows your footfalls
Rooted guards, splinter-swords, shields of bark
Trunk-sentinels that tower the mists

Overhead the canopy spreads
Millennia old starlight, whose secrets encompass the knowledge of everything
The northern herald, a gentle usher

The leaves caress the wind
Their whispers an encouragement
Mother daughter father run to new life, flee from decay.

The forest is your protection
Each copse a holy alter
Each branch and its leaves like a veil of lace

Gifts of berries and water
Groves of potential and vow
North! North! The trees sing, find your glory among us

For away from the swamps and mansions
Where whips cut like whips, is a land ripe and golden
Mother daughter father your weariness is but an ache

But first trust in us The Protectors
Our storied rings of experience
We will shepherd you along in truth, in our seance

The hidden wooded passage
Which only avails itself
To those who seek freedom


Poem by Ashley Rubin


Ashley Rubin is a Black woman who has traded in the swamps of Florida, for the deserts of Arizona. She spends her time writing, hiking, and teaching Art History to local hearts.