The roots spread wide and deep
as branches grew above
this house. Seclusion shaped
the roof tree, refuge.

Wiliness disguised you,
wanderer. You added rooms
around the tree, field of our
being littered by sediment,

bones. Secrets of intimacy
hold like Odysseus’ bed, shape
each marriage apart. Edge
bark bruised by cold.  Dark

rings of sapwood scarred
by insect, narrowed
by drought, move inward
behind the smooth years’

passage. Neither first nor
last here, but tenacious.
Your strength in ordinary
happening, my respite.

Rings circle me now. Peace
at the core, the heartwood.
I will not leave either,
certain at the pith.

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