Sunrise tree

Uncle Mack Going Out

He got up no earlier than usual even
Though morning will sometimes break open
The idea to liberate its poetic assemblages.
Today it opened up a broomstraw field,
Releasing a couple of vagrant jackrabbits.
The curves of their directions peeled
Across the surface of the grass until the
Moment caught up with them at the woods' hem.

The rays of the earth bore outward forever,
But he was distorted in his projection
Onto the disorder of things. He was
Geometrical crystals of transparency,
Buds of meaning that failed to open.
No rhyme hung on the telephone wires;
No meter, in the grass. The world would
Not open its one eye to meet his gaze.

The vision imploded with a sudden fracture
Of flight, sucking his senses into a brown
Hole in the air where a pheasant self-creating
Recruited her molecules in the middle of
Preordained flight, not arising but
Just being there abruptly in a squawking
Whir that taught how pheasant flight
Can also be beginninglessness ending.

The whir of the hen's camouflage filigree ran
Down quickly under the onslaught of distance,
Reforming into a tree that bloomed pink and
Floated off, cloud, into the sky. It left
The burning trunk behind to blacken alone.
The mind clutched the image tight, but could
Not wrench free one word. He was a farmer;
He brought forth from the land another way.

As long as I knew him, he carried his
Sadness with him in a brown paper bag.
"Here, have a drink from my paper bag."
"What is it?" I wondered, tasted his laughter.
"It's a poor man's doctor," he must have said,
For I replied, "Too strong. I'm only eight."
Tar-papered tobacco barns. Nails through
R-C Cola caps. Hot pine and tobacco. Sand.

He fingers the sand and nibbles the odors
By the barn. The day begins to move.
"At last, somebody's home," he thinks.
But it is the Earth raising its vines and
Branches. He backs into the door. Black
Heat. Tendrils and prehensile vegetable
Coils follow him. Supercharged growth
Pushes under walls, through all the cracks.

Roots rise from the floor; around his legs
And arms they snake. They wrap his torso.
Into his ears and mouth insists the chlorophyll
Surge while clouds swoop down through the
Ventilators to hold him in their grasp. Earth
Made a fist around him, farmed him fatally.
Before retreating they hung him from a rafter
To make it look like suicide.

The news came rising out of the sun
Next morning. A strange idea born of
Broken grapefruit and barns on milk cartons.
"What a sight he was," my father tried
To explain to our astonished cornflakes,
"Standing there prayerfully in mid air,
The universe swaying, ever so gently,
From his neck."
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