At the Core

At the Core

by Mara Lemanis


Between the end 

and the beginning

hours, days, years

things remembered

things forgotten

the pulp in

growth rings



inside the timber

whorled in

hours, days, years


We still the churning hour

and cut across the rings

plumbing the spiral

of our days

hunting for the sap

inside the bark

from many rings ago,

to find the bud 

we grafted 

laughing at necessity;

it begged to open

as we sealed

its breath.


The wood is dry

safely planed

finished flat

a polished disk--

things remembered

things forgotten--

pulp gone stale…


We touch the surface

sore ashamed

biting hard


to the core.


we seal

the dying buds,


our breath.