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Imprint, May 1970To Laurel Ann Bogen's previous piece     Washing a LanguageTo Laurel Ann Bogen's next piece

The Witness Tree

Among the corded groves
I breathe with the earth
a flux of kings, pilgrims, random
fools in unhinged moonlight,
a conjunct of stars and conflagrations 
of the wood.

They call me sacred,
ring me with garlands
and offerings of corn,
their burnt prayers
fly in blackened parchment
into the folded web
of my branches.

Wives bear sons
to till the soil I break.

Crops grow tall,
it rains or it doesnąt.

When it slants left, my shadow
animates the primitive light
where men and women couple --
the charred hours,
whose ashes are sifted
with gnarled limbs
scooping out a darker age.

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