Return to the Crooked Willow

When she is home,
a little crooked and hanging.
Her wrapped roots exposed.
She is planted here in front of you, 
to be;
climbed on,
nested in.

If you long
to follow lines and tracks,
reaching to the heavens
or the dirt, 
it is priceless - 
the not seeking with certainty, the up or the down.

If her painted lines are home,
She is planted here for you.
{your value to her is beyond flesh, closer to blood}

If you can forget yourself
in her map of circled rings 
of yesterday's growth, 
these are
versions of truth.
{valued reflections in algae covered toad ponds}

If her version of truth soothes you,
She is planted here for you.

In your backyard.
Wherever it is.
She is with you.

In your heart, rooted.
Your home, growing.
In the forest of the west.

When your ashes need a lullaby,
promise to return to her;
cell to cell,
lines to lines,
map to map,
truth to truth.

She will serve your nitrogen
to the saplings and the aged,
Through me, the misunderstood 
Fungus of the forest floor.

Your birthplace, your buried place;
where the other woodland creatures don't question
your worth, like you did while on your walk.

Where you are greeted with circular, purposeful gratitude
finally found here, the end of your travels.

Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

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