Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saying Goodbye . . .

Live Oaks, New Orleans

They square off along Napoleon avenue,

opposing armies of dark women, leaning out
so far their branches meet at the top, like hands

grabbing fistfuls of tangled hair;

and some of them are old, with the thick,

scarred trunks of Storyville madams, and 

roots so strong their suck heaves

up the sidewalk like so many broken

saltines. And some are young, with the

straightbacked bodies of girls who dream

of horses and the brown arms of the neighbor boys,

but underground the red roots grow together,

fuse in a living circuitry spun deep and

stronger than the whims of emperors, as if

they've known all along that earth's the right

place for love, as though, planted in battle lines,

they incline toward the circle, and hold it open,

vaulted and welcoming.