Image by Arum Glogauer

restless to the sound of saw and chipper
clearing deadwood around the house
ahead of the fire season
i cut my hair sewing scissors
in the bathroom mirror.
long dark strands on the floor.

in the quiet of evening
beyond the saws
i buried it forest litter
amongst the roots of tree.
muttering prayers and promises
i hope to keep despite the slow creep
of city across hills
spilling its restless seed
and bone jangling light

(long before
and long before
child me stamp sang
in sunday school
no turning back
praise the lord
no turning back
and we were taught
and schooled and prayed upon
even then
i knew an empty promise
when i tasted one
and this progress that drew closer
one supermarket
one strip-mall
one marble mall-temple for our new gods
was never progress at all)

and i wanted to write the love song –
sing branches and trunks to the sky
taste the words to live by
like river pebble in my mouth –
but there was no telling
tree from sky from earth from hand,
no telling the broken from the whole.
late afternoon and forest blew cool
my words were no more
than breath through our leaves.

For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: A TIMBERED CHOIR https://earthweal.com/2021/09/20/earthweal-weekly-challenge-a-timbered-choir/