The Tree

The tree bark cracked and gnarled

Grazing the skin, leaving a fine wet powder

On every limb.

A dead branch breaks

And hands scramble to catch

A pimply knot, just in time

For the fall is far

Only broken by hard things.

Higher and higher

The arms of the tree grow thin

Like fingers

Waving flat hands in the breeze.

The dog sniffs and howls

He’s grown bored exploring the scrub

And he looks in vain at the tree.

The happy freedom to die

By unfurling the griping hands 

On the base of a branch.

As the leaves salute the sky

And the living wood dances

To the wind’s own rhythm

It is peaceful up here

In the swaying shoulders of the tree

Atop the ribcage ladder of the earth.

See the houses with their crude compactness

Hemming in the residents

Hiding them from the sky.

They are so small from here

And unmoving

They can’t get us now.

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