Some are hollows, said the trees, and will take you
entire. Others, like boughs, reach in all directions
and return, flush with light. This one
is an inner ring, glabrous and
ring-porous, a vessel shaped by needle-shimmer
and snowmelt, fluid as sap and stilled
as cracked ice. Passing through, said the trees
will warm each stone you carry
while shattering the one you’ve become.
Spring will do that, said the trees
in sunlit branch-sways
and red-taloned drops
drawing the hare from its moss-burrow
to meet the lynx.
It’s not just spring, though. Each season, said the trees
holds a crossing
where what falls apart and breaks every heart
also sings in twig-snaps and current-roars
of cones and ribbon-rays and sapwood-blooms —
each indelibly tracked, ring
by ring by stolid ring —
a record kept of each passing.