A Walk Through the Forest

January 18, 2023

The girl walked through the forest alone.
This was because she had grown stir-crazy in her flat
with its lightbulbs and ceilings,
with its whitewashed floors catching every crumb
and strand of hair. I must
simply go.

She wore a rain jacket printed with bright flowers:
yellow and pink and blue.
The mist whispered to her sites she should see:
the dance of the willow tree
branches, the song of the Great Waterfall
and all of his seven river children.

But at the fork in the forest path, the mist disappeared,
so she asked the oak tree
which way to go: right or left?
Why are you even here?
the oak tree replied.

The girl tried to return down the path from which she came,
but she got lost.
I should have heard the traffic by now,
she said.
But you left the traffic behind ages ago!
This from a monkey clinging to a magnolia tree.
Go away. I’m terrified of monkeys.

Then the monkey was gone. Instead, there was a time machine.

The girl climbed in,
but couldn’t decide how far back to go.
So she sat there a while.
Not too far, warned the robotic voice
of the time machine Siri system.
Wouldn’t want to get lost, would we?

The girl nodded and thought for a while
longer. Then she tapped a few buttons,
and found herself once again in her room,
with the lightbulbs and the ceiling
and the unswept floors.

Darby BrownDarby Brown is an emerging writer and poet from Nashville, TN. She has recently completed her MA in creative writing at the University of Birmingham in England and now lives in London where she continues to fall in love with the way words and stories can lead us toward a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In addition to being a monthly contributor for HYW, she serves as an editorial intern. Follow her on Instagram @darbybrownwrites.

Featured Image by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash