Dead Trees in the Woods

One falls into a Pieta in its neighbor’s embrace,
Another sinks into the earth by years,
Broken fingers clutching grass.
Some are the lichened wombs of termites,
Folded limbs pointlessly praying.

But it is life and death that are dying here
Among their countless ways of continuing:
Green bursting from the broken bark,
Bugs ravaging that rotting skin
To feed their shiny young.

(First published in slightly different form in Last Leaves Magazine, Issue #5 Fall 2022, “Growth” – thanks to the editors.)

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