The Wood by Mark Hales


The Wood


by Mark Hales

There was a great wood

and in that wood a great tree

it was vast, old and strong

its boughs were broad.

A man lived in that wood

he built a house in that tree

it wasn’t big

it had a large window

looking over the wood


All his friends lived in the wood

Mr and Mrs Badger

the Foxes

in that tree over there, the Squirrels

He had no need for mobile phones

or internet or computers

all he ever needed

was in the wood

A hiker, a girl on her holidays

from the bustle of the city

walked through that wood

she came upon that tree

that house, and wondered

did anyone live there?

She found a spot and set up her tent

It was away from the tree

just outside the wood

She made a brew and stared at

that glorious view.

As night drew in

she snuggled in her bed

she felt at one,

happy and sleepy

She awoke with a start, it was wet and cold,

her brain raced,

The wind blew harder than she ever had known

how had this beautiful place become so wretched?

and in this carnage, she heard a voice,

a man’s voice, the man who lived in the tree.

In that house in the tree, the man made a brew,

it smelt and tasted strange,

but it was warm and comforting

and she drank it down quickly,

She opened her eyes

the man had gone,

it was morning the sun shining,

and she felt peace.

A full two weeks she spent

in that house in that tree

with that man

and then it was time,

she was sad and the man was sad

with every pace

she cried and cried,

her heart was torn to shreds

but she knew she must go

her house, her job, her friends,

her city life beckoning.


And as she sat at her desk

feeling more wretched than that night

she thought of that wood,

that tree, that man.


© Mark Hales 5th March 2021

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