Bark-breasted now,
I am beyond your reach,

limbs leafed in aromatic
evergreen among the oaks,

head curls brushing blue,
and feet sunk deep in loam, speaking

the secret language of roots
(that subterranean melody),

while you, in frat-house toga and laurel
wreath, boast of victory,

your heart still pumping gold.
All lead has slowly leached

from my veins, and in that calm,
I can breathe without the crush

and curse of agitation.
Now, under the black wing of night,

with songbirds sleeping
in my arms, I feel a beat or two

of clarity, feel water rise
to lift my trunk and limbs, pool

to rim what used to be
my eyes, no longer terrified.