The Casting

Beyond the dark low clouds' 
oppressive weight is a tree - 
in gold light - shedding her 
leaves in a September casting. 
The slanting sun limns 
the edge of each one - a 
soft, strong, cascade 
of fading green

and above the silent, silver 
scene the light breaks blue, 
the cloud rolls away, the 
puffs arrive to shadow 
the day with a soft white 
and I have you - 
I hear you -

I feel your hands
on my shoulders alternately
pressing, lifting -
pressing, lifting - to
demonstrate what
has gone and what awaits
to breathe-in
to grow.

I stood in the sun 
and all my beautiful 
weighty leaves, like long 
wet hair, I let go 
one by one, cut, cast, shorn 
until soon I stand 
beautiful, bare, wood 
unstranded, and

not lost.   I stand straight 
but marked: my inward 
rings adding year 
on year my straight back, 
my stare
	and you are here

	to help me root 
	to help me bear

easier, lighter, more 
golden weights that 
I choose and are not hefted 
by other hands burdening.

The September wind is 
clear as distance, strong 
as the grass 
at my feet, bladed, pushing,

rushing green into my 
empty space, the space 
between my branches 
where my leaves used 
to be but are not now


in my shedding beauty 
I am free.

I stand free.
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