My back door opens to a tangled forest, tranquil and beckoning
me closer with gnarled branches — but they aren’t threatening.
In fact, I feel welcomed as their fingers interlace my hair.
My heart races like I’m headed to an illicit love affair.
In a manner of speaking, I am for I’m in love with this place
and I return once a week for the trees’ close embrace
as I walk deeper and deeper till I find what I want,
a secret place that only I ever come and haunt.
No one else knows that it exists.
Of all its visitors, only I persist
in coming back to its hallowed ground
where hopes and reality are tightly bound.
I always go with a coin, a single copper penny.
It doesn’t matter if I bring one or twenty.
The amount doesn’t matter, nor does the price
The result is as random as rolling a dice.
After an hour walk, I’ve reached the grey trail
covered in moss, but beneath it stones of shale.
This path will lead to my secret hideaway
to a stone arch that makes up the entryway.
I’ll go through the arch only to find
a little courtyard left to decline.
Weeds encroach but they don’t deter
the wild beauty I see when I enter.
A few steps to the left and an apple tree blooms
with pink blossoms that give off lovely perfumes.
When I pick a fruit though, it’s always rotten to the core.
It looks perfect but one bite and I throw it to the floor.
I continue to the right and there is my prize:
a white marble wishing well before my own eyes.
Although the rest of this place has mostly fallen apart,
my wishing well looks the same as it did from the start.
Time has not touched it, but left it alone.
It will stand here forever, this creation of stone.
I step ever closer, falling under its spell
and I renew my trust in my dear wishing well.
I close my eyes tightly and think of my wish,
the hope burning inside for what I cherish.
Then I clench my penny and then give it a toss
so it lands in the water among the forest dross.
I stay for awhile, staring at the dead leaves.
Do you think that maybe I’m too naive
to think that the penny that I just threw
will be enough to make my dream come true?
I’ve stood here a thousand times before,
wondering why I keep doing this anymore.
But every time that I do, I always say
“This week it will happen, maybe even today!”
Another week passes and my wish doesn’t come true.
My smile is gone and my doubts are renewed.
It doesn’t matter though because I know that I’ll still
go and throw one more penny into the wishing well.
You think that I’m crazy, to return every week
but can I say one thing before you speak?
I’ve heard it said somewhere that if you know
something is true, then it will become so.
So when I throw my penny in the well every week,
it is not only the fulfilled dream I seek.
It is knowing that I have the power to make
my own hope arise and destiny awake.