Our Guardians the Pines

Lorelei Bacht

When they exiled the first of us
into the woods, they did not know
that we would take root and learn
to devour foxes.

Every day, we brew whatever light
descends from the oak trees
in our clay pots. Everything
is a form of learning.

And although I would not call us
benevolent, there is a certain love.

A fallen birdling and his nest a treat –
Everything eaten, that fits in the mouth
of the cook-pot. And we are not
the likes of you: I have never

seen a road, a carriage, a horse.

At night, the crickets a concert,
a maddening. I hear my own terrible voice

echoed in those of my children –
we may be a disease. But even the canker
must live. One morning,

I found a stone in the river. We were
forced to invent a name for bee, for bear,
for how the call of the red bird

descends from our guardians, the pines.

We do not use our cutting tools
against our own, but I would not
bet on your life, if you visited us –
there is always a chance.

Those who made us in the first place,
in violence of paperwork, blindfolds,
it is only fair that they should

fear us.

Lorelei Bacht is a multicultural poet and lover of all things bizarre living in Asia. Her work has appeared / is forthcoming in such publications as Visitant, The Wondrous Real, Quail Bell, Abridged Magazine, Odd Magazine, Postscript, Strukturriss, The Inflectionist Review and Slouching Beast Journal. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and Twitter: @bachtlorelei