The Parent Tree

How to be
when there is so much
to do in the planning
and the carrying out
of lists of thought, the
body follows will, will not
sit still

I have dug and dug
the past, as if I could find
clean earth, fresh flowers,
but the soil is full
of bark and broken glass,
small ceramic chips, screws
and an old black leather
shoe - I can't

grow anything, I have
no seeds, no voice with
which to cast my dreams
where they can fall -
take-in soft showers
and burst and split the
black to green
and grow in sun and air -

I have been there:  underground
in suffocating
dark so thick there was no
parting it - no spade could do
it, yet I breathe the

free air now except
I am hemmed and hedged,
cannot spread as I would wish.

The parent tree is tall
with much fruit
but my small green voice, as
scion of an old tree
is plagued with blight
my woman's voice
drowned-out by all the
digging and the spelling,
of men as they
till the valley dry
and leave no leaf fresh
on the tree
as they pass by - de-
foresters of all the old and
all the green, till the
birds are silent and the
full-streams stop flowing:

dry river beds of stones
baking in the sun.

I have been there in season,
waxed with the sun
and fell to the dark
as it slid below
the meridian -

the quiet earth
does not speak
and the voice, the laugh
sounds weakly now
as the years overbear
and the times grow dim.

I wonder at the roads
and the crossings -
so many words there were
till now, unplanned, 
and the jetting of the flames,
glass-creaking, sky
in gloaming -
bright purple trees
sway in the down-night-air:

here I am:  here:
	unheard, unknown, unsung
heroine of all my days,
	tired feet with
passings and plays, the
masques of those who
come and go.  I would
like some quiet time
from the heart-harrow -
as if I lived well
and all was good -
as if I had not come here
to know dearth
and to seek the food I
did not get:  all gone
in all the words unspoken,
living regret
for the paces of life taken
and no footstep in the sand.

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