The weeping cherry is a sparrow tree
bristled with birds and other small things
that shelter within the unkempt tangle
of the crown, spilling in knots like Medusa’s
locks would if she slept poorly and couldn’t
get a brush through the nest of snakes that
bare their teeth as I do with you when
you’re too long gone and this refuge recoils,
licking empty air with a thousand tongues.
Look away quick. Stone comes to those
who stare at the writhing that warns
without hissing. This one sings.
©Dana Hughes 1.14.19
Like a pendulum I have coursed
from here all the way to there
and then reversed and come back
to this very spot worn like the ground
beneath a swing where small feet have
scuffed the grass clean away before
lifting skyward in an arc that simulates
the ecstasy of Icarus just before the wax
warmed and gave him over to Gravity
just as I was in the instant after letting
go in an exchange between up
and down that I swear sounded like
a voice saying NOW, when flying
became falling and the ground
rose up, indignant at my temerity.
Yet as before when breath returns,
I’ll be up and at it once more.
©Dana Hughes 12.31.18