“The Walk of the Wood-Watcher” by Emmy Piercy

November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

The bird the watcher finds will never sing
A mass upon his forest floor, all red
A breach of broken branches for her wing
A drag of deadened foliage for her head

The watcher of the wood has seen Death stroll and mill
About his trees, to reap the watcher’s sown
A fox, a skink, a crow, a whip-poor-will
Death’s harvest of Life’s seed, toward the unknown

Death bows low and settles down to wait
To let the watcher make his verdant bliss
The watcher, too, has come to love Death’s gait
But Death’s hands and feet, he knows, move unlike this:

This haul-away, this hollowed-out excess
The soul torn out and dragged on through the brome
Carries not Death’s scent nor Death’s finesse
Not taken for Death’s right, but from Life’s home

Death’s soft hand did not guide away his bird
The watcher of the wood has come to know
Thinks now of legends whispered he has heard
Of devils from the writhing world below

A smell, rust-red, creeps in upon the breeze
A shadow-shift, like black tree-fingers blown
A dizzy thrum, like gnats between the trees—
The watcher, in his wood, is not alone.

They burst in toward the heartbeat sensed therein
Converge upon his form, like ragged flies
All is red, and red, and red again
The watcher of the wood is felled, and does not rise.


A junior from the Dallas Community College District, Allison “Emmy” Piercy is attending her first semester at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is an English major with a minor in Creative Writing and plans after graduation to pursue a master’s degree in Library Science. Her work has won local acclaim in the Inner Moonlight Student Literary competition hosted by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

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