A Green Man

And quick he runs through my dreams, quick and grieving…
—Douglas LePan

His back turned away, head weighting untried hands
He stumbles into the empty clearing unseen

The frieze of undergrowth he’s skidded through dense and endless, lean
Torso shorn by low-waisted brambles and trailing bands
Of nettles shackled to the forest floor between stands
Of hickory and oak, his heart a gold finch his trellised ribs preen
His back turned away

From anyone who’s stripped him of his undershirt, the callow demands
Of his sylvan flesh unmet by tenderness, the routine
Silent ardor of the boreal stumping him, the sheen
Of his skin brackish, blistering as each arrowhead of poison ivy lands

His back turned away.

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