Stalwart and sturdy, the tree’s trunk
is luminous in the late light,
standing before and against dark.
Its roots are burrowed deep into
the valley between the green hills
and dry, hidden, invisible.
The leaves cluster tightly, cling close
together, wondrous and wary.
The dry and the dark creep close, but
the leaves are not ready to fall.
Even broken, even shredded,
wounds can be woven into one,
something new, a form to be found.
This is the shape that suffering
takes and makes and shows
as it heals.
So many. So many. We are
not alone. We are together.
We are a forest in autumn,
full of ripe fruit, bright fruit, bright words
to carve the light, the light that carves
us. We are sharp, crisp with edges,
with wounds. We are soft, moist and warm
as if coming out of ovens,
out of caverns, weak with hunger,
fading, yes, but first, branches blaze.