“Susurrus,” by Jay Sizemore



The woods are a mortal constant.
A whisper.
Leafy bodies and limbs.
So many places for the winged
or the clawed
to blend into the noise.

She thinks she hears his voice,
like creek water
tonguing slippery stones,
somewhere between daylight
trapped between trees,
directionless and drifting,
his laughter a loose feather
caught on the wind.

Sixteen days and they called off the search,
something her senses won’t allow.
That hissing supplication
of hope wrapped in boughs,
keeps calling her back to the path
where the bark biting palm
reminds her of her father’s face,
the swirling scent of dry leaves
making dust devil memories.

The last time she saw her boy:
the back of his head,
shaggy hair bouncing,
him watching the ground to keep from falling,
his tiny feet shush-shushing

through piles of yesteryear.
The trees sway overhead,
telling secrets in the Morse Code
of leaf rubbing leaf.
She remembers saying, “Don’t get lost now,”
but how could she know
he was stepping
through a door she couldn’t see.


Jay Sizemore is a writer of poetry and fiction and obituaries for goldfish. His work has appeared in places such as Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, Right Hand Pointing, and Expound. He recently founded Crow Hollow Books and has published three chapbooks of poetry. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and imaginary friends. Find out more about him at www.jaysizemore.com.

Image from Creative Commons.