The Story Door

Stories from the wildwood are infectious.
They bite and itch, crawl under your skin.

Beneath a rotting tree lies a story door
only the orange spotted ladybird

and aged sphinx moth with hoary wings
know. It is rot that lets the stories in

and they grow like mushrooms, hollowing
it out like parasites with sucking teeth,

like bats only the cloaked and winged
hear them flit in darkness between two worlds,

like goblins they come from beneath hills
and steal your children; one for the pot,

one at the feast. Whilst you butcher
every tree and burn the forest down

the story door is never found, yet
from it in your sleep creep two children,

one inside the other one; two stories
riddled deep within your flesh.

Story Door, Penwortham Wood


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