Poem – Triptych: Huntington, WV

The trees on the furthest hills are obscured by fog.
But, like the trees in view, they will no doubt be reaching up 
their bare, dead fingers
To the gray sky.

"The air is too warm today to have killed you.
No need to die."

-Go on, now. We don't need your help.

Will the storied, black coal under these mountains
Under these trees
Bring blessing again?
Them, Their fathers, Their father's father and so on carrying
The petrified plants
To power the world.

Or so it was.

Would the world still accept their offering?
Cain could have told them.
It's the sentient they want.
The liquefied corpses of dinosaurs
Would earn them favor.

Winter is complete here.
It's all white.
But the naked, brown tendrils.
Too thin to hold the frozen air,
They still reach up.

"Why won't you die?
For what do you reach?
Or do you reach to escape?
Why don't you die?"

-But what about my firstborn?
-Sure, Black lung would have been an honorable death
-Compared to dying in the bathroom after mixing pills.
-He had deep thoughts all the time.
-Will his death satisfy?

"No, but it makes a good story."

For whose blood does the ground cry out?

"Did he think about dying?"

-Often.

The snow melts.
And I see what I had not seen before.
An Evergreen.
Two Evergreens.
Evergreens scattered everywhere among the dead reaching trees.
Is there enough poetry left to learn from them?

Big arbourous arrows,
Grounded, even above the never-flowing black veins waiting in the earth,
Pointing up.

"They have been driven away from the ground."

-This world is not my home.

Not yet.

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