“Salvation” by Tami Boehle-Satterfield

Trees by Chris L
artwork by Chris L

The last time,
I remember,
Being together.
A lifetime before
This time.
I remember.

Oh, I remember,
Deep in my porous white bones
Your young ash white timber,
Turning dark
Over the spread of time.

The two of us
Then, not breaching at the hips
Into two, fine, footed extremities,
But instead rooted,
Committed to bear witness
To endure from one perspective.

And I, then, deeply ridged and furrowed,
Remember you,
Standing a glorious height as I leaned in on you.
Feeling the faint whisper of your
Unswept, rounded, flat, thin leaves,
Ridged along the midrib, needle-like.

Clocked in emerald and evergreen.
Washed in a translucent milky white bloom.
Your waxy luster, like a chalcedony gem
Softly mirroring me,
Consoling me, assuring me
That I too, can stand tall.

You, my eminence,
Abies magnifica,
With your narrow, conic crown
And I, with mine
Snugly stacked, nested and treasured,
Rested upon you, like a young lover.

The brilliant ruby-red plumage,
My cardinal gift, my honor.
A testimony of possible joy and freedom,
A thanks for your tolerant brace
Holding my failing, my slipping.

And yet with all my weighted burden
You wait with possibility, probability.
Generous, sainted, red branches scarred, but budded abundantly.
Bundles of deep red-purpled cones with
Winged seeds falling beneath your reign.

Oh, my majestic love,
Heady in your heavy, wooden scent.
Like a school girl,
I lean deeply into your tall, slender stock
Breathing in the sweet smell of musky earth and cedar.

I know your red heartwood.
I have pined for it.
And over lifetimes leaned into it,
And over lifetimes our round, burdened branches rub
Sounding the timber of a chanterelle struck,
A warm resinous cord of music made.

I remember. Oh, I remember
A lifetime of remembering
Standing close and leaning in,
Enduring sun and shade
Like rough and fissured on old trees.

September 2013

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