Leaning East

The past has all blown east.
The Monterey cypress felt it leave
in the teeth of a Pacific sea squall.
Ever since, the cypress has leaned
east toward the past with
outstretched arms.

Somedays I am that cypress.
Wind buffeted, whale boned,
sway backed and salt bleached.
I was thrust off-center in my
cambium, and over time my
heartwood scorched.

And like the cypress I cantilever east
in search of those lost days.
I reach with every limb for
something blown away.

Because the past is a familiar
landscape, softened by the
fog of memory.
Somewhere in the past is the sum
of what I’ve already weathered.
Somewhere east is a time
when I already survived
the gale.

If I could find it, I’d exhume the past
and lie next to it in the rain.




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