‘Ocean Access’, Diane Tucker

The tide, for years, has opened

all the driftwood’s secret mouths,

spent decades carving wells

where all its silver hearts would be.

An arbutus tree grows near,

grows straight out to touch the tide,

bows its green-crowned head

toward the teasing waves.

Love from its pith has stained it red.

In lieu of tears the arbutus skins itself.

Though a living thing, it leans like death;

it dresses itself in driftwood’s clothes.