Tree of Life

TREE OF LIFE

In the mist enveloping the scene,

Those great Druids in my dreams

stood poised to scythe the fruit

of their tree, sacred CRANN BETHADH.

 

In my dreams, childhood reflections,

they were more like the trees

Grandfather planted, sweet seedlings,

nothing more, still nothing less.

They sprouted through Grandfather’s

life and passed the mark he bequeathed

to us. They sprouted to vast canopies

to shut out sky, and with rising

power, shut out the smell of summer-baked

pies set on summer sills to cool if

they could in the hot lingering Virginia

air, settled and impenetrable

in its oppression, heavy and thick.

They shut out the vivid yellow of

dandelions searching a morsel

of ground, thinned in parched weakness.

They shut out the touch of wind

caresses stopped quick at the

canopies domain, greedy and jealous

of territory. They shut out

the taste of remembered summer forage,

their great roots heaving and twisting,

breaking everything man meant to settle in

place. Bricks broken and displaced,

shattered in their demise, pulled

into treacherous paths no longer

fit to tread, earth pitched and swollen,

choking all other sensory performance

until the smell of earth wrapped its

tenacious tendrils, twisting and clasping

to the senses, unlocking all that had been

denied. No more sky, swept, no more wind,

swept, just stillness of breath, the smell

of life, the smell of death, the smell of

that which rested well within their circle,

an abundant earth to which his oaks clung

breathless in my dreams.

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