Kelly Everding

Illustrations at the Edge of the Forest

A face hung
in a head’s black frame

releases its voice at the edge of the forest.
A cry cuts the park in two.

No birds on the bench.
The empty swing swings nonetheless.

Crime nurtures the townspeople
sighing in their sleep,

dreaming of the silver slide.
Each day warns away

the sun, cold cusp.
A lark sinks from the sky

and disintegrates into a pool
of decaying leaves, a passing shadow.

Harnessed to the wind,
the park cartwheels into the forest.

Voices snap like branches.
A woman resists the lost hand beckoning.

No one expected the moon.
A cold wind plays quietly

in the shapes of missing children.
They have yet to cut open a tree.