The Talking Tree

Michael Hoerman

I went walking in the woods
I heard whispers
I ran until I was out of breath
I fell down at the outflow of a spring
I saw my reflection in the water
I heard whispers again
Now they were closer
Somehow I'd run toward them
In the reflection I changed from a man,
to a boy, to a baby . . .
The spring water turned bloody and
Warm, like a woman's sex in childbirth
That's when I saw the talking tree
My hands were stained
It would hold me accountable
It would wrap me in barbed-wire
My blood would seep into the ground
I would grow roots, limbs and leaves
I would become another whisper in the forest
That's what I was told
By the talking tree


The 2River View, 2_3 (Spring 1998)