Friday, November 9, 2007

Jeffrey Woodward: SUMMER GROVE

On one hand, the terrible heat of a midday sun in this broad and open meadow in July. On the other hand, the inviting denim-blue edge of the woods as one approaches it through a humid haze.

Tempting to believe, even at the risk of mosquito and black fly or nettle and bramble, that the dense foliage might afford some temporary relief from the unobstructed light that is now all too intimate, insistent and palpable.

Even so, one halts immediately before the woods, once one has arrived, for not far beyond the bright and glittering leaves at its circumference, one can see clearly that what, at a distance, looked so inviting rapidly becomes, upon close inspection, a gathering darkness. Hesitation, however, is, of necessity, a temporary state. One eventually walks on:

only after my shadow
into the deep summer
of a grove’s recess
by Jeffrey Woodward
Detroit, Michigan
first published in Nisqually Delta Review, V. 3, N. 2, 2007

1 comment:

Charles said...

A neat idea here, the way the haiku links into the prose. The speaker has been spooked in his walk and will continue on, but "only after my shadow" leads the way into this greater gathering of shadows in the grove. Or the speaker overcomes his hesitation: at midday his shadow has all but disappeared and he knows there is no reason to fear walking into this greater shadow of the woods because he is seeking "only after my shadow" which of course will reappear and lengthen as the afternoon progresses.