His Mother Who Lived in the Trees
She spent long afternoons
by the kitchen window
letting herself wander about
in the tops of the trees.
In winter, her mind climbed
the branches like a jungle gym.
In summer, she hid herself
behind a green curtain.
It was a place she had to go
to escape the bottomless pit
of hearth and home and he knew
it pained her to be torn
from her quiet, leafy palace.
He tried to curb his need for her,
but she was—after all—his mother,
giver of life, fixer of broken things.
She had a calmness about her,
except when she didn’t, and then
sometimes, she would just explode,
in a way that frightened a little boy.
He’d think, my mother is crazy,
but her treetop sanctuary was open
and when they were there together,
they spoke the language of spiders.
He learned that his hand on her shoulder
worked wonders, telling her he was okay;
telling her the little acorn was happy,
rooted in a patch of ground other than her.