The Whisper in the Wood

A Villanelle

The wind whispers and the branches creak
In the deep dark wood near the lonely hill,
’Til your breath catches and your knees grow weak.

“One, two, three…” Playing hide-and-seek,
Counting, “Four, five, six,” in the quiet, until
The wind whispers and the branches creak.

“Seven, eight, nine…” Careful not to peek — 
Hands over eyes — you stand perfectly still,
’Til your breath catches and your knees grow weak.

“Ten. Here I come.” How softly you speak,
Baring your brow to the evening’s chill.
The wind whispers and the branches creak.

You wince when the tree limbs whip your cheek
And cower at the caw from the crow’s black bill,
’Til your breath catches and your knees grow weak.

But in the deep dark wood, other seekers may sneak,
So find the hiders soon — or something else will!
The wind whispers…and the branches creak
’Til your breath catches and your knees grow weak.

© Lori A. Claxton 2016

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