Sunset in the Woods

An Old-Fashioned Song


No more walks in the wood:

The trees have all been cut

Down, and where once they stood

Not even a wagon rut

Appears along the path

Low brush is taking over.

No more walks in the wood;

This is the aftermath

Of afternoons in the clover

Fields where we once made love

Then wandered home together

Where the trees arched above,

Where we made our own weather

When branches were the sky.

Now they are gone for good,

And you, for ill, and I

Am only a passer-by.


We and the trees and the way

Back from the fields of play

Lasted as long as we could.

No more walks in the wood.



John Hollander, "An Old Fashioned Song" from Tesserae and Other Poems. Copyright © 1993 by John Hollander.  Reprinted from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.