Iris Jamahl Dunkle

 
 

GHOST OAK

Appearances are ghosts. Life is a ghostland
Take, for instance, the towering oak
that splays its blackened arteries toward sky,
unaware that already a pair of
buzzards perch and clot the spiral of
tributaries that wind and unwind toward
whatever blue has arrived in the sky.

How like our own aging bodies the oak
stands, passenger of air and time but blind
as Tiresias. What choice do we have
but to step into this wooden shell and rise?
Shake off the rot the fog brought in because
life lies in order to live. You’ll never
know how many dark birds brood in your eaves.