Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Baobab

At sunset, the cranes come here along the river to roost
in this towering baobab
not one, two, but by the dozens
they fly in from the rice fields in all directions, and take their perch on high
I strain my neck to the uppermost branches
in this prehistoric, majestic tree
the cranes flap their white wings, squawk and throw quite a raucous
as if greeting friends and retelling the tales of the day.
I'm in awe, and take in also the sunset in the distance
This tree is like a giant pause between two worlds 
-the real and the mystic, the earth and sky, the ancient and the new
villagers gather and lounge in her shade by day and the birds for shelter at night
generations of stories this tree has heard, overseeing the whole village.
Knowing she must be listening
I go over, stand underneath her shadow and whisper into folds of her roots:
‘where are we going?”

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