At Pine Hollow, the old tree blocks the path,
its bark nearly gone and rotted,
one place at the base of the trunk where it still peels off,
almost indistinguishable from the undergrowth.
I went to the Festival with words like "welcome"
on my lips. I did not see her all that day,
just one woman who might have been her mother;
her face now replaces the other.
There is nothing to be done.
The broken roots of the tree,
the carved out heartwood
grow into the soil,
covered with needles.
The dead tree in the yard stands out,
its knotted eyes in the wood plain, clear.
"You're talking too loudly!"
"Enthusiasm," she had said through tears.
"Too loudly! Too loudly!" the mockingbird taunts,
flightings in and out of the thicket.
The bower, a complex latticework;
vines from another nearly pull the tree down.