We stand like that tree

with lovers’ hearts,

buddys’ brands

and lone travelers’ musings,

incised long ago

now distorted into burnt wounds.


Their original meaning is lost

in the sap and bark of ages

and yet ready in any moment

to bleed across our Now,

obscuring all truth.


Only the Beloved

can turn these wounds

into warrior marks.

Only through that Power

can we see the beauty

in our deformity.


As we stretch our branches

high in the limitless sky

the marks become kitten scratches

so far below,

then disappear completely

in the golden hue

of Love.

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