The forest draws me in with a bear hug of evergreen
branches heavy with deep roots.

Purple flowers carpet earth at dusk,
star specks twinkle silently.

To grieve something willingly lost is a lonely path
with wilting undergrowth.

Douglas firs relax my knotted shoulders,
waves of calm mist drift my mind away.

I can finally hear my own small voice
and I want to stay here

like staying after church with God to linger
in the heat that holds
all these things in my heart
without fearing rejection for being