by J C Scharl
It’s water does this
to wood: petrifies the honeyed grain
so time runs off the light-shot stone like rain,
leaving nothing, taking nothing.
Ages back, a river
filled the Painted Desert—see its traces
here, reflected in the fractured silver faces
of the quartz crystals. It’s water
does this sometimes—
more often, though, the sodden log, the drift-
caught fraying limb, the tree trunk rift
to molder on the forest floor.
But sometimes, time
strikes a deal with the living, and rather
than bringing rot or ruin, water
stills, and with slow alchemy
renders a single tree
endless. So whole groves melt away
and this one lingers, beyond decay,
kept whole, nothing lost
except everything beside.
J.C. Scharl is a poet and critic from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her poetry has been published in Euphony Journal, The Scores, Fare Forward, and the Curator, among others, and is forthcoming from Measure Review, Convivium, and Presence Journal. Her criticism has been published in Dappled Things and Plough Journal, among others. She tweets as @JCScharl and writes at www.jcscharl.com.