Dry bear trees & honeysuckle fruits
crown the crooks of sipping streams,
piles of spent bees & tufts of lavender
pollinate stump hollows. A thirsty man
with unknit bones kneels to fold his prayer
into a knothole; there are flasks & remedies
at the feet of certain healers. The Carolina
turtledove gleans amaranth & pokeberry.
He thrashes a broken-wing dance on a conifer
needle altar offering himself to hawks & falcons;
ransom for two pin feathered squabs:
one is taken—one spared.