I led him into dark green, leafy places,
took him where he was reluctant to go,
saying: this is new for me, also, saying
trust me; I said:
It was a deep progressing onward,
a slow moving inward
into something neither of us knew about,
this journey that took us always back to ourselves,
always back to places we thought we had seen
and passed before,
but had not.
It was an expedition into the deep green of self knowledge
and those fathomless places
like black spaces between overlapping leaves,
or where the trunks of trees stand too close together.
It was a journey we could not see an end to. Until
finally, after days or months or years,
after the weight of the last of our possessions
had become part of our shoulders,
after moving and picking up and moving
so often that we felt the rhythm of pursuit drive us
even in our sleep, propelled
by an army and our own need, finally,
we reached a most unusual place.
It was a grove with a pool
of particular calm,
And bending to the water, bending to our reflections,
the mirrored surface gave back two mirror images;
our reflections had become the same,
how we had changed.
And then the leaves around us spoke.
They said: You are supposed to be here.
The oaktrees, thickening into woods, said:
We were expecting you.
The smoke of a cooking fire added dreamily:
my smell was supposed to arouse you, draw you here,
change your lives.
The fire cackled: See
all that’s different, all that’s been transformed
because you’ve come so far?
And finally, the water spoke:
Don’t be afraid.
Swim in the pool.
Tell us what you want.
Our burden ceased; the oaks drew closer,
surrounded us as we stripped off our journeys’ trappings,
bathed and were made new.
Washed fresh as newborns,
we made our wish — then heard the water whisper
in reply; we breathed in
the smoky, purple twilight,
gathered the dusk to us
in the knowledge that all we did was right.