There’s the Apocalypse, and then there’s Drucilla Wall. The whole world is a tree beside the house. Critters climb and live in it. Things with wings fly through it. Time is measured by it. Someone she loves stands beside it for a photograph. There he is, standing beside the world, standing beside a century. That’s when the storm comes, and Drucilla lets us wonder, when the world splits and crashes down, will it fall on us, will our cats be saved?
Each leaf a single finger,
pointing at every angle,
smooth in the dense, bronzey canopy
that had expanded skyward
for a hundred years,
a mere sapling when the house
was built beside it.
Each leaf an exclamation,
terminus of trunk, limb, and twig,
pulsing the root telegraph
of water, earth, and sun.
I shot your portrait with the rippling bark
filling the frame around you,
a second presence blending with your hair.
We knew the comings and goings
of that raccoon nested in a hollow
higher than our roof. We saw
the songbirds of spring and summer
taking rest, the eagle alone in the dawn
on his way to the river’s hunting ground.
The black breath of the storm swept
from the west, killing the power,
and caught me at the shop,
away from you.
Your voice kept breaking on the phone,
“I am in the basement, with the cat,”
As if that would comfort me.