Scratch Tree

I have listened

and in these woods there is

no arguing about the layers

sifting to settle in their own time.

No jousting against the resurrection

of mosses and lichens from these deadfalls,

no lament for the broken

rosary of tiny shelf fungi draping the length

of shattered branch. There is no shouldering aside

of sycamore by ash; chinquapins heaped

on fans of cottonwoods, splay of pawpaw.

Scrolls, the lot of them, veined messengers

with stories of the mountain lion who leaves

shredded sentences blowing from the cedar’s

trunk, flung across the moon.