the cave

a cave forms
in the forest.
sometimes, in her modest moods
she calls it a backyard
but miles of
flora isn’t a yard.

she takes a backpack and
laces up hiking shoes.
if she walks too fast
they clip at her anklebone.
sometimes, the bruises
last for days.

if the weather permits
she reaches the cave,
half-formed though it is.
when she first came here
it didn’t exist
and she resisted the temptation
to begin.

instead, she left it alone
over decades.
it took shape after the second
century
and she brings a book,
stays a while.

eroded by years of rain and
howling gales,
the rock formation at the bottom of the forest
has taken shape. stalactites and
stalagmites litter the air,
and she comes home disoriented.

it’s a welcome respite
from the sleek lines of the manor,
all wild and unkept.

sometimes, hikers see her.
they don’t know who she is,
but they tell stories of a girl
drifting through the woods.
sometimes, she dresses up and pays the town
a visit.

sometimes, she’s a legend
come to life.