Silver Bliss

I remember playing hide-and-go-seek
so vividly I can still touch the wall
we were crouched behind,
the two-tone bare-brick [[white]] plaster
barrier is [[real]], right before me,
and us, small and huddled together,
just t[[here]],
breathless in the [[hope]] of remaining

I can feel the warmth of that summer day,
and the small grove of silver birches before us
(which never quite grew as ma hoped they would)
their peeling bark like paper that I'd sit and pull off,
as if writing hidden [[love]] notes to a later [[self]],
with symbols made simply
from the grain of wood and its defiant growth
in this strange soil it came to feel at home in,
soil that smelled before afternoon thunderstorms
like the original meaning of the world,
some old and hidden memory that rises up,
unbidden, when another piece of the past
bursts like thunder through the glass
that now protects us.

And isn't it strange, I thought,
sitting cross-legged on the floor next to you,
how we still talk about trees,
how we wind ourselves back into earth shrines
and roadtrips to a breathing forest
at the [[heart]] of things, where you played
some small and beautiful note
that stopped [[time]] and took you back
into a hall of [[soul]]s, [[way]] back until
you could see the window that is every [[life]]
and all the [[light]] and darkness pouring in,
only to dissolve in the distance between
what you are and who you experience.

Can you see that childhood afternoon
if you look around the dream
and dance with nothing as if it were still
the only thing that matters?
Can you hear the rustle
in those paper trees, like an old [[book]]
passed down the generations, the birches
just messenger posts for all the worlds within,
writ across the memory of two kids
hiding in a grove of silver, blissfully unaware
that there should even [[be]] such a thing
as a holy word.