walking a green day

forest green, dark and earthy, overlaying a million year’s undergrowth with the smell of loam about it; light green, as a traveller following a winding path through the woods comes across a clearing of soft grass sprinkled in sun drops; pool green in the middle of the clearing, cool, almost navy, its banks feathered by sedge, and, bare legs splashing the water, a boy carving a flute out of a reed; blue green, the colour of  his eyes, which his mother gave him, along with her musical gift, and the colour of the dress she wore when she skipped home – she had to find the truth of her life, she said – and she never returned; but she left him a penknife to cut his piccolo; brown green, the traveller’s coat, ragged and dirty with barn dirt and road dirt, laid down by the pool like a picnic rug; old green of the cheese that comes out of the coat pocket, with bread and a flask – the man’s lunch, which he shares with the boy in exchange for a tune; green the colour of his unthought-of hope as he hears the fugue fill the clearing, rise above the trees, silence the birds in wonder – have I found the child Orpheus? he dreams.  And his feet, as he continues his journey, later, are no longer sore, and his heart is breaking from the  joy cracking through the tune he still hears hanging off  the green shadows, becoming black, all around him.

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