To my eyes, you arrive complete,
reaching down naturally, hands
after feet, you give up
the direction of the wind
for us all.
When the oak unhands you
there is another there to go,
a camellia bush to gather and
rearrange your tangles.
No longer jewelry at the branch tips,
the wind ignores your oblivion
within tightly wound pink flowers
cracked open on one end
and leaves everywhere,
the plurality of beauty, only to be
beaked away at this more reachable
height—sewn into nests, or packed
by hands into the walls
themselves, changing shape
in defiance of the pull that had you,
despite the wind, for so long.
Fred Dale lives in Jacksonville, Florida and is a Senior Instructor in the English Department at the University of North Florida. He is also Co-Instructor of Arts Inside, a program that teaches art and creative writing to jailed juveniles.