The Old Tree

When I was young,

the aging tree had always

been in repose, as if cradled

not pulled by gravity.

Trunk dark as dirt

found in Home Depot,

roots ugly and gnarled toes; raised

we leapt from them balanced

on childish wobbling ankles,

imagining tightropes over lava,

featherless arms held aloft, cradled too

until not. Wind wound through hair,

between branches like fingers

of an expectant hand, palm-up

and waiting for the thousand

pens lent and never seen again,

car keys, aged and wrinkled

receipts, change, come-hither

gestures, curled fingered beckons;

a supplicant hand, head

bowed, waiting for God.

When I was young,

the aging tree was replaced by a swimming pool.

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