This is a very old piece, written when I was in a dark place inside myself. Partly an investigation, and partly a purge of a piece of me I didn't want.
My knees hurt. I take root, suspending my walk.
The thought occurs, what the tree thinks of a blooming sapling.
Only hints with its dried leaves, silent as me.
He stares at the sapling's vibrant bark,
Some budded petals open for me, for the tree
There's the stigma — I melt the snow that nags me.
She smiles and I feel alive.
I spot a wolf wandering through the woods, far off my path
But still in sight.
I get up to walk away, but don't take a step.
For a moment longer I gaze at the sapling.
Then I scrutinize the old tree.
Is that my face painted in its knots?
I fall again, and bruises renew.
I clutch for someone,
I reach out and touch her,
gently, kindly, not at all invasively.
The flower leans in gracefully, instinctively,
without knowing why.
Its beauty lends a momentary comfort.
A warmth in this merciless cold.
But I remember my splintered skull,
and am stabbed by sights:
That wolf ripping its prey.
For some reason, it eats a child:
Too young to know danger,
old enough to satisfy a starving beast.
My knuckles whiten,
and I recoil my hands from the delicate little flower.
I could have crumpled it without even realizing,
without it knowing why,
without me seeing that my desperation
had nothing to do with those petals.
Already poised, I decide to pray.
Before the wolf gets to me.
Before I pluck this flower.