The wind through the old-growth evergreens
whistles and cracks like the music
of some Mohawk ceremony, celebrating a birth,
a coming of age, a wedding, an ended life.
Standing in the middle of the natural song
and swaying dance of the needle-leaves
you could believe it to be any and all.
Even now, with slick maple and birch leaves
beneath your feet, with closed eyes,
you can’t tell if it’s the newborn autumn
or spring of your childhood, adulthood, end.
It’s just This Time, Your Time.
With a deep inhalation, you draw in life
that tastes of pine spirits,
and feel yourself sway with the wind.
Now you exhale a flute-like wheeze
as your old bones click within you and
you open your eyes to realize you’re just
another part of your supple old brothers
and as long as you sway in song with them
you’ve a chance at another dance.
In This Time, Our Time.
Photo: Cool, misty pine forest in Kuttikkanam, via Wikimedia Commons