taken down

They’ve taken down the
dead limbs of the snag,
so that all that remains
is still healthy and vibrant,
green leaves rustling in
sun and shade.

They’ve taken all the
dead parts away,
where the owls alit
each night last year
and spoke in conference,
in night song, in reverence
with one another and
with the cool, dark air.

They’ve taken all the
sere branches, the skeletal
remains, the beautiful
alternating scaffolding
of so many years’ work
in life, in death.

All that remains to remind us
of the parts of ourselves
that have passed –
once so vital, and life-filled –
are the clean-shaven
stumps,
so blunt in their ending,
and one,

one

one graceful limb
arcing out –
slender fingers
naked,
touching the sky.

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