wHiLe wE SwUnG

Burr oaks and sugar maples
ancient, barrel-chested sentries
staunchly line the tributaries
of childhood memory
With strong arms
they embraced the horizon
holding steady for the sun and moon’s
eternal coming and going
and our hurriedly tied
rope swings dangling over
shimmering summer lakes
all the same

Now fires unleashed writhe
arrogantly up their sides
piercing knotty cloaks of armor
to sear soft vulnerable flesh
It’s clear the enemy
is upon us and in us
the creek beds of summer
recede to bare the tender feet
of our trusted friends
The smell of burning
hemp twisting in the wind
floats over our head
while we swing to and fro
clinging to what
we cannot defend
and do not know
our past trails behind us,
a fraying rope with a knot
hastily tied off
before the bitter end

image credit Paul Gilmore

©sk*2020, All rights reserved.

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