Intimacies, Number 18 by Julia Klatt Singer

Intimacies, Number 18

We set off into the woods,
never a glance back.
Nothing in our pockets
but the stones and pinecones
we find along the way—
the occasional treasure
of bone and eggshell, moss
and feather. We knew the story
of Hansel and Gretel.
The old woman’s house—
much like our grandmother’s
we’ve just left
for these woods.
Deeper in until the sunlight
struggles to find us.
Deeper in until the sound
of the dead trees we’ve kicked down
fall silent. Deeper in
until neither of us knows
how long or how far
we’ve gone. The hunger
in our bellies, the light
now slant, we turn
let the panic quicken
our pace. Let the trees
usher us out.
They never scold us.
Lay us a path
of leaves and twigs
roots and soft needles.
Lead us to the sounds
of the road, the short walk
back, the smoke from the chimney
reaching like a long arm, fingers beckoning.
Entering the house (how contained it feels)
we smell like trees, like air;
cool and free and endless.

by Julia Klatt Singer


Editor’s Note: This narrative poem deftly captures both the folly and risk of youth, and the delicious freedom of it, leaving the reader yearning for more at the end.

3 thoughts on “Intimacies, Number 18 by Julia Klatt Singer

  1. Thank you for this poem. Such great imagery. I could see, smell, and feel it. I felt the urgency of getting back to the house.
    Loved the repetition of “Deeper in…”.


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