Poetry by David Wagoner

Into the Forest  (from a Native American Elder) 
by David Wagoner 

“Grandfather, what should I do if I am lost in the forest?” 
You are not lost. 
Wherever you are is called here. 
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger. 
You must ask Permission to know it 
And to be known. 
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers: 
I made this place around you. 
If you leave it, you may come back again saying, “Here.” 
No two trees are the same to Raven. 
No two branches are the same to Wren. 
If but a tree or bush is lost to you 
You are surely lost.  Stand still. 
The forest knows where you are. 
You must let it find you.