Lost in the Forest – Pablo Neruda

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Love, I was lost in the woods this week. I went there myself, of course. You came looking for me. Every time You called my name I made myself still and quiet.  I wanted to become like a dryad and pour my sorrows to the Earth.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

I wanted to be secret with my sadness, Love. Growing ever more tired of myself, I still listened with comfort as your patient footsteps crossed the wide forest, searching for me. But I would not reveal myself to You. I wanted to emerge into the bright meadow on my own time.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

Your humming search-song drifted along, deeper into the forest. It lulled me to sleep; after several days and nights I woke up with a start and ran for the light at the edge of the wood, sure You would be waiting there for me.

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood –
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

And in the meadow I found your smoldering fire, and your blue coat, and your small shelter, and the pillow for your beautiful cheek, all moist with rain. I know You’re still amongst the trees Love, not looking for me, but claimed for a time by the wild wood and its deep shade. You will find the soft emerald moss by the cyclamen where I laid and hid, and the love I left for You there.

I will tend the fire and dry your things by sunlight, awaiting your return.

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