Photo: Charles David Miller
I knew well the tree that bore
the fruit of songs. It harbored stars
and the gentle Spring wind and called
into life dawn where the orioles perch.
The red dog chased the rubber ball
while the black dog ate white fish
on the shores of lakes without end.
We swam in waves that stretched
to the farthest shore, there where
the light-house beam cuts night in two.
Ships afloat with iron bullion steered
past wilderness and tracked the
water like Leviathan seeking rest.
We felt what earth and sky and dream
felt, for their names were on our lips
like the flower that blooms at night
and opens with dew on its buds.
Our tread echoed the deer on the moss,
our feet raced the horse to the sun,
our eyes scanned mountain tops
as we dove in and out of the wind.
It was a day like no other, when earth
began its wail. We sought shelter
beneath the tree, huddling close
in our skin that each knew as the other.
We had no fear then, only concern
that the sun might consume the fields
and char the remnants of our joy.
There was only concern that skin
might turn to powder like the leaf
in autumn or the wood in fire.
Then the sky spewed out its poison,
the lakes went dry and the white fish
flapped gray and sick in crusting mud.
The skies themselves
flamed colors we'd never seen,
sick with revenge and anger.
It was then we left, not to return.
I knew that tree that sang our joy.
It stands there still, behind the gates
of fading memory and angel sword,
lit by anger and despair for what we had done.
(c) Copyright 2012 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.