Of Acres and Acres

From the nearly pure black of a good winter night's soil I grew forth, in your palm, and I became. You drew roots to my eyes with the gentle pressing of your rigid finger and to those sockets your story continues to come.  My brain blossomed as the priority of your growth, a dream for which the forest starved itself so that its youngest may rise higher.  On an October forest floor you laid me down, your son, quiet and clam, your handful of twigs to my nervous forehead, and you opened my bones at the center chest. Retrieving a relic from within you, you uttered a grace, and inlaid it in me so that the branching of my throat would remind me of your stretch toward the sky, and I would return forever grateful to the fields, to celebrate our passing time together.

Born of the forest shadow, a young human walks about the earth and despite his fight against it, the trees' fall-decay dusts him. 

I have smelled the damp and I have seen the sojourn these men make.  Not by full moons or the drugs of men but onward to the trees, with their eyes closed and their alarm subdued they make strides toward a pilgrim's land in a pure sightlessness only the forest can afford.  Follow me there on the flattened dirt, on the tail of a Minnesota fall which draws us outward on these trails.  We joke and jest during the easy sunset, until we are out there, the lake to our right, its reeds and its night song, and then there sits a long darkness in front, and then you believe.  You believe the presence affects you.  The paths that split and twist from the cavern of your throat begin to reach deeper.  It is not pain, as they stretch, but it raises alarm.  Inside you are growing and the trees are to blame and you know it.  This is the smiling terror of a peculiar heritage. 

One day, not soon, I will lie those men down again, another October I'm promised is long from now, and will watch them return.  The names on the leaves will accompany them to Elsewhere, the cold dampness of fall will dew their jacket and bead their skin and, while we weep, we will surrender them back to these woods.  Soil in our beards and all the treasure of north country tracts in our blood we will hum the hymns of the spirits on our lips.  I promise, if I am one to witness this return we will sing and smile, we will grasp our chests as the caverns there continue their growth, laying the fall's harvest down with him.  Pile on the branches, brothers; run now and gather twigs and grass and make a hill from the men that walk in these stands.  They are the trees in stride amongst us and from their still chests - in death as in life - mighty sprouts are bound to erupt.

Where the snow rests highest, that tower of leaf and bark where the clouds leave their gifts and their condolences, in that canopy our thoughts remain.  We mean no offense to the ivy or the lower growth of this wilderness floor but we reside where one can look out to the lakeside, watch the moon signaling in the wake. There, we are moved to better things, I think.  Moved toward the quiet and important propositions tapping morse on our ribs; we learn to live in these trees, from them we come and by their lessons we're better.  Pile on the branches brothers, run in this tract and live as though you remember that October day the roots beget your eyes and all this forest wide believed you would do good.

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