Haunted by the Ghost of the Woodsman as a Boy

Vertical, the plane of my childhood;
arms raised like wind-
whipped twigs.
It was boy’s work to cut down
a tree in perpetual surrender.

I recall a rain-splattered street,
origami sails,
child’s paper boat;
the runoff swift over the precipice.

Every spring on his birthday,
(mark the soil)
I languish in nightgown past noon;
await a revelation or something buried
to stand up straight.

Outside, everything is drenched
with guilty new growth.
The petals of the bloodroot
shiver on their stems
like a thin white flag.

Ellen Bihler

prev    next