The Fairy Den

Our fairy den was at

the bottom of a pasture

that sloped to a stream

in a forest enclosure.

Where field and trees met

was dappled with shade

and lime-green light,

which shone through the glade.

Moss, gold and emerald,

carpeted the tree roots.

The wet bark was jet-black

like our wellington boots.

The smell was of damp earth,

rotting wood and moist moss;

decaying old leaves

and general mustiness.

The sound was of water

talking to itself,

and of leaves in the breeze

or disturbed by an elf...

The walls of the den

were tree roots and trunks,

bracken the roof

and moss the bunks.

Leaves were mats;

stones the tables;

and acorns the cups

as in all the fables.

When all was complete

it was such a thrill

to pledge secrecy

and escape the chill.

We’d emerge from hiding

to clear blue skies,

warm sun on bare skin

and dazzled eyes.

To wafts of leaves

limp with heat,

hot meadow grass

crushed and sweet.

To chirping crickets

and lazy flies,

distant bleating

and buzzards’ cries.

A magical place,

fairies or no,

for childhood dreams

to develop and grow.