Venerable Elm, Larry Woiwode

VENERABLE ELM

 

with outstretched limbs
convener and celebrant of
every everyday breeze disheveling your shade,

rocked by amber thought, syrup flung
in stringy yarn toward
carved scars, torn stems, the needlepoint of stars;

gulping ground whiskey, drunk in the sun, enacting quaking poses
and slurred susurrus that attracts
busybody birds; provender to

rooters above and below, raccoons and moles
and beetles and ants attuned to
your whiplash scenes and spooky phases, plus

woodpeckers rattling inside in
red rages; shaking ferny fists at this,
a cascade of plenty

scraping my camo vest,
O multitude of one,
Lakota

dancer stilled
by a light-
ning hit,

shedding
shreds of
the ages,

its proof
incised in
your rings,

now I, chain
saw crying
blue as Sep-

tember sky,
I must dis-
member

you.

__________________
Larry Woiwode

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