LESSON

 

Her world was filled with goddesses then:
sheets and sheets of crayoned portraits
that summer before she started to bleed.
The wind, too,
a little brook through the meadow,
and at night Artemis and all the rest.
The old apple tree could sing.

Later, of course, it all came apart.
The gods took over, their pavements and towers,
the language she learned to get along.
She grew modest and small.
The wind was only wind.
Trees became a blur of green.
The moon stopped chasing through her dreams.

And later yet–her own fruit ripe and fallen–
Hecate overtook her at the crossing
and taught her to see how trees want
nothing more than life: nesting finches,
five-pointed stars in their immortal hair,
how broken trunks sprout from their roots,
the small brush of coppice bears blossom.

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