November 2, 2023

The Forest

              (Freddie Oversteegen 1925 - 2018)

              During WWII, at the age of 14, Freddie, along with her sister, Truus,
joined the Dutch Resistance. She seduced, then executed, a number
              of Nazis in the forest near her home.

What is the shadowed empire of a forest to the Nazi with a Luger at his side
              when a slight girl who straddles the seat of her bike moves her hips
              like the tide’s slow arithmetic, cocks her head toward the treeline?
What is it to breach the linked arms of the forest?
             Twig-break, dove-coo, bronze tongue of a distant bell,
              the sun no more than a stutter through the parasol leaves.
How does a wolf lose his way in the forest?
              Lust will drive him through the hibernal shadows.
              He will lay down his guard at the mossed base
              of a burled oak, unzip the risen seam of his desire.
How does a wolf die in the forest?
              He will turn his face toward the open mouth of his prey, feel her
              press a blued muzzle to his skull. He will hear the hammer fall,
              learn the way light becomes fire, a kiss becomes a requiem.

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A Journal of International Poetry
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