The old beech to the sky,
Roots to shoots, capillaries make rain.
Roland’s axe stood alone, rust along the blade,
left behind with the house and the woodpile.
The road is open, his legs only now tired.
Walking, he’s been walking so long, forgotten
where he’s going, gold braids on his shoulders,
melancholy, clueless. His belly, queasy.
Roots to shoots, capillaries whisper lament -
Wherein, what-for, the harbinger, a turtle dove,
Maybird sends it to comb the wilds, to be her eyes,
her herald. She sent word weeks ago.
Wherein, what-for, his diviner, the moon,
loves to vex his memory, spin webs, dark penumbras.
Each morning, his head rings in wood thrush,
anon he fingers frayed epaulets, a strand of her hair.
Shoots to roots, Maybird laces a cotton bodice.
Within the bones of her corset, rides a secret --
Roland was never hers, she never his.
One is shimmer, the other a bell.
Wherein, what-for, the vigil, a companion,
she shepherds a season, watches, waits,
as furrows of routine terrace his absence.
Crows mock her patience, she disagrees.
The moon grows fickle, Roland is restored.
This is an old, old tale. refugee returns for his bride,
he tucks a piece of bread in his pocket.
Back and forth - saplings, briers everywhere.
Shoots to roots, mycelium sip sunlight,
Roland recalls her scent, rosemary and rain,
bouquet to whet an axe's appetite,
a road to open, Maybird, his home.
A silver coin on the floor, something is shifted,
the cinders litter a long winter gone.
Once there were cake crumbs, then greedy sparrows.
Restless days overrated, and the door.
Wherein, what-for, Maybird's heart, a copperhead,
quiet in the leaves tasting the air.
His desire is a dragonfly, life in four parts.
They hunt together, every evening new.
Bless the beech who holds this story,
beware the moon, its greedy sparrow.
She's the shimmer, he's the bell,
an old axe, a dappled afternoon.