The Tree I

I am compact
fixed, muscled, self-contained
self-engrained -
hard in places
soft in others
but always lined, lined
I have rings of growth
in my mind
on my skin
in my eye -
I add one
each year that
touches me

no human male has
dared to tangle
in my  branches for endless
seasons -
such stormy trials:

activity is memory
many rings ago
I have been here
rooted and blooming
quietly for so long
I cannot recall
what noise is, what is
time, what is movement
what is tall, hard, impenetrable
all I live now
in in the stretching
into silence, peace, space -
I reach maturation at last -
I feel it
but I feel no height, no weight -
am delicate yet strong
and I have never had speech

in the fullness of my growth
I am budding, budding -
I am ready to burst into bloom -
I am blossoming -
these days I know
how to bend with the wind.
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