A Marriage

Creaking, groaning, both as one,

a howl of laughter, crack

of sudden grief, a deep exchange

of growling sobs, an argument of ringing

timber strings, soaring high-hoarse

baritone, then rumbling

bass to shake the ground—

the two madrones had long ago caressed

away their paper bark and pressed

their human-shining skins until

they strained against the heartwood at their cores,

their separate paths to light

a century in mute acceptance

of their intertwining lives, now grown

together at the mid-point of their trunks,

and joined in joy and pain, they bow 

as one before the virtuous winds that bow

them each against the other’s inner grain

in spires of ascending song,

the children of their roots.