Tonight

I am a tree reaching up
toward the moon while
the skies are storming
not all that far away.

My arms are branches,
shivering, my fingertips
10,000 leaves touching
a galaxy of stars.

My veins are roots,
my blood the earth. I reach deep
into the earth so I may stand,
resolutely yet willing to bend.

My skin is strong, but I have
my share of scars.
Nature can be unkind.
Still, I love it so.

Within me, the sapling that
persevered — hunger and drought
among the countless reasons
I can kiss the sky.

I am home to creatures that kill
so that all of them can thrive.
Together, we are community.
We do nothing on our own.

If allowed a favorite,
mine is Gray, the Owl. I love to
watch her scan the umbra,
patiently, for possibility.

It’s been a while since someone
rested against me or climbed
as high as I allow. Perhaps
tomorrow will be different.

I once held five children.
Their energy made me creak.
I worried one might fall
if I could not keep still.

Last week my leaves endured,
assaulted  by hail, all of us
terrified of lightening,
shuddering in thunder..

So many storms yet here I am.
If I compare this one to all
I battled, it’d be nothing
but an inconvenient distraction.

Tomorrow might change it all.
I’ve seen so many friends chopped down,
so many lost to consumption. Still,
I will welcome the morning.

But tonight, I am a tree waving
at the universe. I am singing
a song of longing  to the stars. I am
swaying to the music of the storm.

Everything runs its course.
Our best hope is to turn reality
into our way of being real, doing
our best to make it better than before.

Tonight I am
a tree. Tonight
I am a tree. Come.
Stand tall with me.

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