The Gift of Giving

for Deborah Faeyrglenn

i found a piece of bark
discarded by the tree last summer
saw it on the grass— picked it up & marvelled
at its subtlety of colours & rhythms of their shapes
        like a tawny frogmouth
        perhaps hidden in the branches
& i wondered if the tree sensed my appreciation
while examining its castoff —
or was it the tree’s gift to me?

i give you this piece of bark
you can make my moment your own
take it into your hereafter
        & maybe the hereafter
        of that frogmouth I imagined,
        sitting mute & motionless
        as if it were a limb—
you will make a wondrous work of art

we must keep these special moments
slipped like bark from our days—
        turn back life’s metronome to when they were shed
        as if dislodging from the trunk
        suspending for a second
        then drifting down to earth
& present all their wonder to our friends—
they will fashion marvellous works of art

        examining my ancestry—
        if i sit in the minute
        a little longer
        maybe i can be one
        with the trees

© Hazel Hall, 2023