The Cancer’s Tale

We wait.

All born souls queue

Up to ascend where

Unknown certainty begins

And known uncertainty ends.

We sit.

In stillness our

Hair billowing, bodies

Skin covered in ripped sheets

The bark on eucalyptus trunks,

Bent from blow back towards

The earth, arched away from the sea

Arms outstretched

As if to grab something

That’s behind them

Like a runaway a dream

Or a lost child.

I thought, “how limber”

Coats lined in misplaced trees

Searching the land

But not belonging in

This continent where

Their branches suffocate sparrows

Dead and flightless

Laying in the shade.

Let’s use those tourist trees

For lumber instead of our

Native redwoods and sequoias

Whose needle hair holds

Those human-sized

Rotund trunks where

Locked inside the bark

We saw off gifts worse than its bite.

We drink

Clear cool water running

Down our throats.

Stopping to read

Pages of gold red fire leaves

Unbound. We drink

Like the trees

Sipping through tiny wells, the roots

Magic fingers flip the rain in the sunlight

Tricking the sap into the trunks turing it into blood.

The ax wielded by

The mind thirsty still

We read —

Pulp fiction

Dedicated to the willow

Growing in the fringe

Of the yard where

Someone’s mother planted

Her husband or sister

And we see her from the rotted old wood swing

Moored like a ghost ship

Out of time, out of our sites.

We travel.

Returning from the east

Heading out to the desert, west

On the horizon where warmth sinks fast in winter.

Hurry back to the coast.

Now it’s late and dinner’s cold

Shivering very quietly with my hands on my lap

Sudden and without a sound

Slips the ship sails, Tattered between the shadows,

over the curved earth

We finish.

Bookends holding up

Our bodies on the shelf

Related to no one

Left to right.

Packed up and traded

To clear the way

Leaves fall, memories

Raked up and bagged

Hauled away.

Nicely mowed lawn,

Honey.

Spring bulbs pop

And remind you of

Someone you knew

Or a character

From a book

You borrowed for a while.

Tell me what you think.

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