“An Ode To Mistletoe”
Standing beneath hundred-year-old Elm
My head rising in awe of such regal canopy,
I glimpse her hidden in peaceful solitude,
Dressed in dappling camouflage.
Wild Mistletoe firmly rooted
On the highest branch in prismed light
Elm and Mistletoe connected by old love,
Enduring more than memory holds.
She survived that cold winter
When two young lovers shot her down
Easy prey with a bb gun
Elm's branches bare in the frosty air.
Tying ribbons to her stem to fill desire
Dangling her white berries, lost food for Pilgrim birds.
Simply decor for a gala where young love
Is too shy to kiss on its own.
She vows to climb higher into Elm's branches
Where there is no judgment about her beauty or poison.
She draws from Elm's willing nourishment.
Happy to thrive among Paw Paws and Ironweed.
Mistletoe, in spherical wisdom, calls to us from on high.
Without ribbons or legends; to simply love.
To live beyond others judging what is beauty or poison.
To live in gratitude for friends like elm that accept us.
She sits in peace recalling times when woods
Have been our refuge and lover.
Times we fled to hallowed ground
With a broken or fearful heart.
We cling to woods no less desperately
Than Mistletoe to Elm
We long to climb to safe branches
Where secrets and dreams are held like wind.
We, whose seeds were sown in the depths of the earth.
Are made to love the woods.
We who were made by lovers who walked before.
And planted desire in our earthly bodies.
In the shadow of the arbor
Woven by Elm and Mistletoe,
With curious chipmunks as witnesses,
May we renew our vow to become wild lovers of woods.