She arrived bearing leaflets
gathered hastily from a tree
that once made its home
along the bluff that bowed
in the direction of All Saint’s Creek,
Where the flightless seraphs would
traverse from time to time
to retrace the melody
that escaped somewhere between
celestial monuments immemorial
And the hallowed confluence of
electric mists and vernal shadows
that marked the beginning
and the end of a journey’s refrain,
just beyond the bend.
One leaf was given to a man of great wisdom
who preferred the wistful caress
of remote breezes emanating from
solitude sweetened with age
and fortified with crystalline shells of Faith.
Another was given to the golden-haired urchin
who painted the meadows with colors
birthed out of fond remembrances of
tender passages from lullabies
that dared to trace their lineage back to Blue.
Several more were given to
the animals that dutifully roamed
the forgotten stretch of the forest
in which visions of sunrise trickled down
like nervous rain on its journey beneath the surface.
The last leaf was given to me
as I wondered into the chestnut stream
that flowed from her eyes.
I held it to my heart and promised her
that I would awaken each morning hereafter
Bearing lavender periwinkles for her silken hair
extending in every direction, culminating into
tightly-woven star steps leading back
to the beginning of the Creek
where there were dreams of flight, patient and graceful.
I promised her that when the leaf crumbles,
my heart will divide the pieces among
every meandering soul in search of her lament,
and legions of despondent youth
will arise and build spatial arias from her maiden cry.
And the galaxies will awaken, changing form
with each resolution, presaging the moment
when each star will descend upon the horizon
and illuminate the spot where the leaflets once
graced her outstretched hand.
I sit and mark the journey
of lost stars that find their way down the bluff
and into my bosom, where I inscribe her smile on them,
and turn them into wings that glow in the dark
for the angels who plant trees at night.
Art by Matt Wisniewski