The Crow's Forest by Jenny McPhillips

I shiver with the chill of the cool night air.
The crisp feel of dried leaves beneath my feet as they crunch
with each new step I take
encourages a feeling of desire as I look forward…
The bare trees whisper in haunting tones
and shake quietly,
creaking with laughter
as their wisdom sighs at the audacity of my thoughts.

Their branches merge to become a pointing finger
which tremors with the wind's force in front of my face.
A general shaking of heads is surrounding me
and I long to turn and run from the knowing eyes
of all who’ve walked this sorry trail before me.

Voices cry out with fearful zest,
but none so loudly as the black crow
which squawks manically…
demanding I follow its lead.
I feel its wings flapping against my face
and my flailing arms try to remove its presence
from the recess of my mind.
But it cries louder still
and pecks madly at the remainder of my soul.

Picking and picking.
Bit by bit.
Piece by piece.

I fall backwards with the black entity feasting on my inner salvation
It steals the goodness
by consuming the essence.

And all the while…

The bare trees in the blackened forest shake mercilessly…
hissing collectively,
but watching sadly.
The pointed finger withdrawn
as they watch another fall
into the middle of nowhere.

The occasional squawk of satisfaction
echoes into the distance.

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