If I Were a Child and Waiting

If I were a child, I would climb the venerable
Pecan tree, in my backyard. It holds my world 
in place, like the mythic Yggdrasil, whose roots 
hold the world together ~ never to loosen.

Along a sturdy branch, I’d chat with the 
squirrels, and share a nut or two from my
pocket, and wonder at their scampering leaps 
into the space between twig ends of limbs. 
Pausing here, I fall into my adult self.

Grounded, like a plane without fuel, altitude
lost, I recall losses irreparable. Settling
against the massive trunk, filled with the
rings of Time, I recalled that at the heart of 
me is a fragile sprout of beginning.

The rough bark, wrinkled Time, reminds
me that I may grow again from here,
surrounded by accumulated years of 
experience. I can learn the scampering 
risk of leaping from stem end to stem end,
across the space of fear. 

—Martha Ward

Shoot After the Storm by Amanda Webb

Past pleading for warmth 
against the pain of cold, 
the wintery wait, the weight 
of the cold, persisted.

Slipping my arms along my 
sides, I was surprised to feel 
warmth radiating from my core. 
Numbed hands felt their way under 
my buttocks, seeking the supple fat 
for their warm nest, cheek to cheek. 

Head helmeted, in woolen hat, 
only my feet numb, absorbing 
the arctic air stealing in through 
the walls, floor, windows. Rubbing 
them together, only let me know 
their ache. Moving from my shroud 
of blankets, to find warmth for them 
would mean, inviting the cold to wash over me. 

I waited, I waited, then snow gave way
to the sun’s light. And, with it the return
of electricity. Feet arched eagerly, feeling
blood rush, trumpeting.

—Martha Ward

No comments: