The apple tree used to be there
The pear trees huddled over there
Right before the forest
Ancient trees bonding to the earth
Each replenishing the other.
We created Camp Artemis in the middle of that forest
A shrine to the goddess of the hunt and protector of animals
But not to us worshippers.
Releasing our arrows
Into the cradle of the forest.
Never puncturing anything more than the trees we aimed at
Too fond of the chittering animals to do anything else.
Later sleeping on the leaves and the pine needles
The ground unrelenting on our backs
The moon shimmered through the tree branches
And the forest murmured stories of heroes and heroines
And goddesses and gods
And we drank sweet tea
And poured our libations on the earth
And listened to the wind.
And we were blessed.
Poem by Jeanne Anderson
Jeanne Anderson is a retired English teacher. She was a guest columnist for the Moline Dispatch newspaper. Her poems have been published by Bella Grace magazine and the Midwest Writing Center. She is never far from nature where she finds solace and beauty.