SHAKING HANDS WITH A ROSE
You stand at the base of the tree,
mouth slackened, eating a rose.
I have not seen you in ages.
The acorns are ripe. I hear them
plop to the ground, they are littering the world.
Oh, you litterbugs! How dear you are
to me, I have been waiting for you
to burrow yourself into the earth
and rise in a song. Little sapling,
my dear litterbug, you have been
Five fingers on a single hand.
Skin as red as a northern rose.
Pock-marks, blisters of the sun,
the sapling is as hard as rock.
Here is my hand for someone to shake.
Here is my voice, speaking so quietly,
telling you which hands to draw with.
I've shaken so many roses that I've
lost touch with pantomime.
-published in "The Argotist Online"