Walking through my father’s woods
I am reminded of the Eden
of nature, of the sinless creatures
high and low, they neither sow nor
reap, nor gather into barns, but
they are nourished there.

Walking through my father’s woods
I am read by blind saplings,
reaching out to read my face.
They are the turnstiles of the forest,
spreading out their arms to count
the parishioners called to prayer—
and their bent fingers resemble
The Creation of Adam. When I pass
they point to where the sinner went.
They are frail church ushers,
standing watch—but unable
to enforce piety.

Walking through my father’s woods
I see the sun shining through
the noble towers, creating
shadows that conceal the emerald
ash borer’s slow progression.
The soggy-black earth yields easily
beneath my feet, succumbing to the weight
of so much pressure, leaving dispirited
vestibules behind—vessels slowly filling
with muddy-sacred water.

In my father’s woods I am surrounded
by a bewildered audience, keenly aware—
wondering what to make of me
and my clumsy trudging about. It is judgment
day for me. I become a crescendo,
the moment before the denouement
when the music stops and the audience suspends,
silently waiting for God knows what
to happen next—and if I become still,
like the statue of Saint Finan—
a seven minute cemented interlude,
I can hear them, like angels, discussing me from the balcony,
and scribbling “Nephilim” in the Book of Jubilees.