Poem: Greg's Tree

Soft rain sweeps over pliant meadow grass.Sparrow flocks scatter as we slosh along trails pungent with bay. Fog-veiled curtains hide an entire world from our view. Through laughter and tears we press on, remembering, approaching, Greg's tree.

An image steals into my mind: You, sitting there cross-legged, smiling impishly, waiting for us on a carpet of damp fallen leaves.

Wispy sprays of mist blow sideways around your tree like the soft ash particles sprinkled from a bone white vase. Dressed now in green finery of damp velvet moss, your solid trunk supports us in our need to lean against your strength.

To trust this firmly rooted reliability is to touch, once more, the same solidity that your living, breathing human form once gave us, in our need for you to lean against our strength. Spouse, Friend, Father, Son, Spiritual Brother to us all.

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Jewels glisten on spider webs, trusting permanence until they evaporate.

Wind gusts tear at such delicate threads. Acorns stashed in a hidden crevice remind us of how we try to hold on to what we love.

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Stephanie Ulrich, Santa Cruz, California

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