THOMAS MEINZEN

Birch Tree Closeup

Tree Housed

The birch outside my window
died years ago
but housed in that rotting wood
beetles are stirring
wings unfurling

tendrils are spreading
spring is coming
within it
yet without it.
Pollen glazes
its silvery trunk
and lichens stretch
to meet the sunlight
stealing softly
across the stillness
of its skeleton.

Spring comes
but not for the tree.
No leaf, no shoot
no bud breaking free.

I wonder if that is
how it feels
to die
and still be

The Swallow House

Along a country road I know
there crouches a house long forsaken
and though its windows never glow
I know the house has been retaken

Its door swings open in storm and gale
and inside, its residents rarely rest
and though no realtor awaits a sale
the house still welcomes many a guest

Stooping at the head of an aisle
of elms, bending winnowy and tall
it smiles an old and impudent smile
paneless, all crow’s feet and gall

Its bleached boards no longer forced to fight
the hacking of birds and burrowing beetles
they seem to remember their long-ago tree life
the warblers that nested among their needles

But now wild rye licks the house’s toes
and shrubs spoon its sagging sides
mice skitter through broken windows
where ants parade on moonlit nights

Walking that country lane, I see swallows
swerve and swoop through its dark doorway
behind them, a young flicker follows
slipping in softly for an old foray

Shooting out the window, unfurled
the blue streak of a swallow swings by
and I wonder, in this teeming world
if an open house might be the best way
for anything, anyone to die.


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Issue.53: Open House

The Witch House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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