Needing one, I invented her - the great-great-aunt dark as hickory called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.
Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves, and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool, and whisper in a language only the two of us knew the word that meant follow,
and we'd travel cheerful as birds out of the dusty town and into the trees where she would change us both into something quicker - two foxes with black feet, two snakes green as ribbons, two shimmering fish - and all day we'd travel.
At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door with the rest of my family, who were kind, but solid as wood and rarely wandered. While she, old twist of feathers and birch bark, would walk in circles wide as rain and then float back
scattering the rags of twilight on fluttering moth wings;
or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;
or she'd hang in the milky moonlight burning like a medallion,
this bone dream, this friend I had to have, this old woman made out of leaves.