orion and trees

by underswansea


The leaves are down and the winter constellations are up most of the night now. Willow and I walk, keeping the bush between ourselves and Orion and his faithful dog Sirius. The stars cast long shadows. We follow, keeping pace for the time being. The names of my children are carved on the back of these trees. This path is familiar. I know it’s turns even without moonlight. The treetops point the way. Venus is exceptionally bright, while Mars is nearly lost in the glare of Jupiter. They appear close as a double ‘star’. But my mind is with Orion, wondering what winter will bring. Willow lets out a bark. Sirius stays silent but winks back. The temperature dips before dawn. The frost sparkles on the ground. Now and again I feel something flow through me. I can see it enter and leave. It takes a small piece of my breath. Is it the souls that watch over these woods? Is it God trying to tell me something? More than likely it is the nudge of time that ticks inside this old fool. Regardless, the wordless night refuses to be translated. Orion begins to fade into light, leaving Willow and I to find our own way home.