Bear at the Tree of Lights (After Peter Birkhauser)

When the Soul began to write his life

examiners at the womb door asked:

“Does this one want to come out?”

 

The father left to think this over.

The mother was left to pethidine.

The baby came out forceps first.

 

Some say heroes are born to difficulty.

This one too found his birth

a rehearsal for his quest.

 

All he saw and heard and felt were

waltzes, global whining, ghetto blasts

that diluted his voices.

 

He changed from baby to good boy to poet,

always a goldfish jumping from a glass bowl

floundering on a skirting board.

 

While outside an apple tree grew

whose roots held light that sneaked in

through windows and door cracks.

 

Now the fish started to grow.

Soon it was too big for prowling cats,

mother and father complexes.

 

He broke the bowl open, found he could

breathe in air, and walk.

He stepped outside to the tree,

 

pushed his hand through the ground

felt roots that pulsed with light

and tasted the fruit.

 

He moved on. Another tree grew,

its root lights rose through the ground

into spring blossoms.

 

He looked at his body again.

Now it had brown fur and paws.

This bear would eat from light trees.

 

He lifted his head, roared.

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