Sequoia

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I dreamed of shadows and sheltered things

beneath the tree with golden leaves.

Today the mighty trunk sliced bare as bone,

the rings rough and splintered,

you take my hand as we count the lives together.

A thousand deaths, a thousand loves,

a thousand circles bound us with frayed fibers,

spinning its thread, the splinters cut deep.

Now and then at the wound’s core,

the sapling sprouts from a single seed,

always yearning and always bending toward love’s light,

free of pain again,

under the sequoia tree.

 

 

 

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Listen

When I lie down to die
I hope you make a feathered nest
of downy white flicked with silvery gold,
and its velvet strands will be enough
to cradle my fading heart.

When I lie down to die
and the last tear slips across my cheek,
I hope the doves will gather to coo
a melody strung with faded memories
into my soundless ears.

Then I will know the path out of the woods
is to follow the pulse carried aloft on the wind
as it dances and twirls beyond the moon.

And I will smile as the dove’s wings open
for the song humming among the stars
has echoed in my soul for centuries.

And I pray you will hear this too,
when I lie down to die.

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This poem is dedicated to my father on the anniversary of his death.