the summer solstice

King of the Greenwood

Today is the day of the oak-king
horned god of the greenwood at the peak
of his solar powers, at this moment
of maximum light bound to none –

(how many years ago now did we
process to the stones at sunrise?) –
sun on his longest journey northeast
to northwest in the sky (we crowned

each other then, king and queen of
midsummer) and nowhere to hide –
no shadows – yet already the year
slides back to the moon-queen’s time

(that journey you took that midwinter)
at the nadir where the holly king
guards the doorway and wrestles the old year
down (you with your crown of antlers

and how you too succumbed). And yet
nothing dies; simply lies fallow. Burdened
with the gift of our brief bright lives we could
remember this – nothing dies; everything will return.

© Roselle Angwin