His Mother and the Juniper Tree

Caption: “Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) at El Sabinar, El Hierro, Canary Islands (Spain). Picture taken by myself in February 2003.” Pecher, Eckhard. “El Hierro Sabinar.” Wikipedia. February 2003. Web. 21 April 2016

[Poem prompt: “Day Twenty-One.” NaPoWriMo.net. 21 April 2016. Web. 21 April 2016.]

Under wind and weather, within reach
of the Sun, the Juniper tree stands to bend
to its own needs, and the needs of her son.
From a distance, in resembling people,
to reach, mother, to desire blood on snow,
to give birth, womb, the magic to delight,
bent over, overcome with awe, to die so
happy, to watch him murdered, to grieve
as so many Marys over their children,
the intertwined branches as many overcome
embracing, howling arms, to escape, portal,
vista, she works tree alchemy to set him
a new path: bird flight. Upon his return
he shares his song and gifts but has no words
for his second mother, only the millstone,
and out of her fire and smoke
his resurrection, little boy, Marlene,
and father, happy ever, and no words for his first
mother, the Juniper tree, resembles
falling over when still evergreen and reaching.

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 21

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).