Sometimes I lie in the hammock at my shack in Vermont and look up –way up– at the two white pines it’s roped between. One of those white pines is so huge that it scares my friend. She thinks it holds too much power, like a keeper of the gates, but that’s what I like about it. Trees, trees, trees and me go way back. All the mountains I’ve hiked up, where the trees get shorter and spindlier until they disappear, and there’s nothing but the sky and rock and you. Once, I beheld a gray owl on a tree limb. I tilted my head left, the better to take him in, and so did he. I tilted right, and so did he. We stood that way for a long time, regarding each other. There could be worse things than being descended from trees.
– Tina Kelley
Some things we are certain of:
Sun in the forest adds extra rooms.
We hide inner twisting under our skin.
A beehive within is a blessing.
Never play with matches. Ever.
We teach: to bloom, to fruit, to peel,
to heal in a swirling burl,
to suffer pruning silently.
We remember the itch of chickadees,
blue air of twilight like a shawl,
the liquor it resembles. We taste with whole selves.
Our women are never too stocky, don’t diet.
Our day — dressing, bedding down — is a year.
At weddings we wear wrensong tatting in our hair.
We converse in the pulses of rained-on leaves.
Our god is wind. We need no heartbeat.
We worship by swaying, masts in a marina.
Our low song, too low, withers and flaps.
We sanctify the privilege of embrace,
of running, the afterlife of dance.
The sun pulls life through us,
up and flaring, a yellow scarf
from a magic tube, higher, wider.
We die with loved ones, rot in their presence,
nourish their offspring and watch
the continuance, ever, exulting.
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