IX. The Willow

I have not forgotten you

When I was a wretch, you gave me shade

I was without name then
A patchwork mass
carved of other’s designs

I remember the stink of the sun
Dying stale dry deaths
deeply, and often
Deaths of my own making

I remember the mist
And your long slender fingers across my face
I rested on your patient and unmoving earth

As moved as I was
I could offer you nothing
You didn’t seem to mind

I ate the earth and turned my blood black that day
in honor of you
You masked these caustic qualities I’d grown to hate

I feel like you found it amusing
I liked that.

There was no pretense in you

Only what is
And what was
And what will be

And in that moment
I grew to realize the extent of our kinship
Of this pact of blood I’d made with you

That I was always to return