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.