The stretch to the sun, the stretch to the center of the earth, and the sheltering cool in between. Secret hidden places for treasures and firm holding branches—houses in the air. Feathery leaves trap mysteries in my mind and catapult them into the future.
Rows of stately soldiers guard country roads. Lonely isolates in flowering meadows stand moody, marking time in aloneness. Companion trees link arms with knowing glances, intimate breathings—sharing ground, sharing air.
Solid oaks, assertive with chests puffed, mock gale winds. Supple birches, evanescent green and whispery white, sway and flex with storms. Up on the mountain, pines all buffed up bristly, dare intrusion, while maples filled with dripping sweets flaunt green today and fire red with tomorrow’s frost.
Down by the river, willows droop with tears from countless sorrows, long sucking fingers in the dirt. Alders hover close, leaning to the water’s edge to catch a vain glimpse reflected in dark deeps.
My apple tree offers sweet, sometimes wormy, fruit and a lofty perch. I retreat to write and meditate, pleading mother-calls unheeded. I weave dreams in the branches and trust secrets to the leaves.
No one else would understand.
On hot, steamy days, I hop shadow to shadow to cool my feet and cool my head.
Barefoot steps quick quick on hot packed dirt, but slow to freeze frame under sheltering tall trees, the long dance home in desperate darts and lingerings.
Aged elm branches spread a welcome for my childish floors and walls, my odds and ends.
Barely a whimper—long dagger nails pierce—sacrificial lamb.
I homestead in crooks and climbs with soda crackers and Jell-O tea—sweet communion.
Barked, brawny arms hold the rope that swings my feet to tippy touch the lowest leaves. Back and forth and back and forth with pumping legs and flagging hair, then jump! I’m flying! I land with a thud, all laughter and grass stains. Then, up again. I wind and wind and wind. Branches groan. I twirl and twirl and twirl, then stumble with drunken pleasure.
Everywhere tall trees. Leaves pressed brittle, photos captured, admiring peaceful pauses taken in busy days—
I breathe the memory and the now.