The sun purred cautiously

and stroked my back with claws now sheathed,

battle-weary lion —

spiralled down black distant dots

in shimmering thermals to their prey.

While she fought the moon for the firmament,

memories of grasses dried,

died and sprung again.

There was no game.

Little life remained to cross my path;

while time passed on too fast to pause

and wait for me to dig

rabbits of freedom with my dog.

So kicking my boots with the talcum sand

I rapidly walked the road.

I met the oldest oak

and kind moss-fingered

ponderous limbs

asked to oak-leaf me and lift

and heft and hold my weight.

I left my boots

and I swung,


jumped and crawled

to the very


top . . .

where the gaps in the cool green leaves

glimpsed the golden splendor of the sky,

of sundown.

I saw and swore I would not descend,

never walk on bloodless

to the black highway —

But when from a perfect airplant cup

uncurled a curious circus coral snake,

I had to climb down from my limbs in fear,

unripe. He came too near.

Had I met him,

let him kiss my hand,

I could have hugged the rough old bark as tight

as now these bars, my ribs —

I would have dried, fertilely burning,

someday maybe sprouting

Resurrection Fern.

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