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.