The Long Body That Connects Us All

A Piece of Bark

I go into the woods behind my house
searching for a tree just my age.
I cut from it a jagged piece of bark
in your memory.

I place the bark between my hands,
scraping back and forth until I see red,
until I see every gurgling, blue-faced,
moment from our helpless night.

I know the tree is in great pain now
as vulnerable as I am,
having lost its armor, its beauty,
its guide, its sleeve of hope.

I will visit this place often,
to watch the tree heal,
to grieve what I have done
and what I have lost.