"Ghost in the Branches"

During the wet cool season here in Virginia, the mist rises from the morning creek bottoms, and the spring beauties and bluebells add flashes of color to the mystique. Down where the sycamore seems king and the water truly rules, sometimes the eyes can play tricks on you.

I saw a ghost tonight,
wrapped round the branches of a creek bottom sycamore
    orange eyes gleaming in the mist

he moves in mystery and myth
his existence denied, since the century turned
yet he is here,
wraith or reality
matters not really

conversationally, the murmurs always
beneath the surface
"a painter landed on a tin roof upholler, thain he was gone"
"a cougar loped cross the road right in the headlights, so quick I couldnÕt be sure"

the murmurs grow, like drops of water
collecting from many hillside seeps,
  joining down holler
    legends grow much like rivers do
      from tiny beginnings

A legend looks me in the eye,
from perhaps 50 feet,
perhaps 100 years, his tail stretching back into the past

It is hypnotic, this sensation
the possibility of being hunted by an adversary;
      more cunning,
and more motivated
more hungry

the fear is strangely dulled
he is a myth after all,
myths do not have appetites

and now he is gone,
perhaps he was never here at all
perhaps he is always here;

after all, that's how legends are



Copyright © Andrew McKnight. All Rights Reserved.

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