of course Time with its
worn suit and new socks
dreams of endlessness,
summer lands without paths
rotations cease for
the misremembered stars
the old father has polished
his last clock the millennia spill
across the floor their inner works
spin without purpose
the book of deeds is smeared
even History wise with experience
can’t decipher the world’s ancient ledger
the winds sift minutes into the hills
sigh all you want breathe too heavy and
all those moments
milled to fine dust
scatter in the last shaft of light
what to say
We both know this conversation
skirts the body of a man you loved.
I can only show you the leaves
of this elderly tree. See the black spot that
stains each leafy plain?
And there the iron spikes of dead branches
interrupt the green
reflections of the sun and the rain.
Shields of bark lay
broken at your feet.
The moss clings to your loss but
trees cannot help but live.
The old rings dry up slow and who knows the moment
The sap no longer stirs?
For now, you live time shrouded like
the ancients and their buried stones.
Be this present tree.
Salute the world with your sharp grief.
Alice Mills holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. She has taught various forms of writing for over twenty years. NPR has featured her work, and her poetry was recently published in Metonym.contact