What stump?
said the bunchberry, as it shrugged crimson-stained leaves
freed, just recently, from summer’s green mask

and I pointed, bemused, at the cracked grey stump
whiskery with lichen, bearded by moss, surrounded in bunchberry,
garnished with one.

That stump,
I said, this ancient nurse of a tree, in whose cracked bark you cling
perched like a lighthouse, or a bloom on a grave.

What stump?
asked the bunchberry, with leaves spread wide, as if holding the sunlight
like water, or a whirling

and then I glimpsed it – the bunchberry’s view – and was drawn
into a world with no other.

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