Trunks of pine trees
vertical lines against white snow.
A standing city of muted people.
Skinny, with no arms,
rooted declaring, “You are in my world now.”
Looking right, looking left,
thousands of armless poles…
I answer them, “Where is your life?”
My labored breathing, I walk up the path.
Heart beating, hard labor in this forest prison.
No summit in sight, purposeless effort
walking up and up the hardened snow
through this army of unsympathetic trunks.
I stop to look.
I see my pall, my suffering.
Who made this jail of trunks?
Is there no escape?
No analysis can help me.
I stand still and give up.
I ask for help.
Shadows appear on the snow
lacy images, flower like shapes.
Everywhere patterns coming and going
hundreds of them.
Rough bark leaps out of the trunks,
Reds and greys, brown and black streaks.
Limbs appear on the poles.
They had always been there
touching other limbs
arms holding lovers
pine needle palms turned up reposing in gratitude.
Other tree people appear.
White trunks of aspens caught in movement.
This one leans forward,
that one juts out a hip,
this one bending in sadness,
that one reaching for a friend.
The sound appears far away.
A muted whooshing approaches.
The tops of the trees begin to sway
Now roaring all around me, no name exists for this marvelous sound.
All the air races up the mountain,
Emptiness listening as the tail closes to nothingness.
The trees stand still once again.
The shadows dance,
patterns of doilies, the steel colored flowers.
The tree people say, “Welcome to your world. You are free.”
Indeed, a freedom.
And I answer,
“Thank you, Thank you.
Thank you for my life.”