In our young years we
tramped the woods behind Growl Creek
searching for signs of mystery
more than what the days brought
in their thin light,

The small frame house full of parents
and whippings and tired meals
looks that sometimes saw us
and more often gazed into
a beyond only the elders
bargained with.

We were sure of a something more
among the gnarled bent trees
and foliage so dense little
or no sun or moon ever

or so we imagined in our
ten-year-old eyes and hearts
as if forest had no ending
as if the fearsome calls
of darkness and dream would
always be ahead needing
only our dare,

our blood mad as the surging
Growl Creek in spring thaw
our eyes tight with a hugeness
knocking at us from inside
the shadows more real
than the light we were
already beginning
to doubt.

Doug Bolling

About the poet: Doug Bollings' poetry has appeared in Common Ground Review, Slant, Connecticut River Review, Blue Unicorn, Illuminations, Minnetonka Review, Wallace Stevens Journal and The Broome Review, among others. New work is forthcoming in Nostoc, Tribeca Review, The Chaffin Journal and Albatross. He has received two Pushcart nominations and was the featured poet in the January 2011 issue of Flowers & Vortexes.