2021 Poetry Broadside Submission # 10: THE BIRCH By Eric Gordon Johnson, Anchorage

By Eric Gordon Johnson, Anchorage

An aged tree stood
at the side of the road.
Fist sized stones ringed
its feet, beads on a rosary.
White tattered paper bark fluttered
in the breeze, frayed crepe
from a long past feast.
One black branch pointed
to where I’d been, another
to where I was going.
The trunk stood straight
in place, north side
sheathed in golden lichen, as if
the sun had set that way.
A scar showed grey dead
wood from some past attack.
And above the wound
a worried crack after
some tempestuous storm, ran
up the trunk, revealing
vivid wood to the core.
Still it grew passing tall, branches
sporting glorious leaves
like effusions of green reality.
I left it standing beside the road
and went along my way.

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