Town Fathers

Creaking in the wind,
As whispers in the night.
Shaking with the breeze,
Dancing to an invisible melody.
Rubbing branches together,
Huddled, circling, building momentum
For the assault.

Their roots run deep,
Nourishing upon our remains.
Secrets heard, witnessed, extracted.
Unseen under foot,
Sensing vibrations –
Walking, working, the entanglement of lovers.

Bodies standing at the edge of town,
Witnessing arrivals,
Departures of all kinds.
Viewed as benign,
They keep silent record of the existence of man.

Flinging themselves to the heavens,
Caressing the stars,
They mock our scratching on the earth.

One in town understands their sinister intent –
Well, two, counting the child.
These hear the whispers,
These see the meetings on moonlit nights,
These feel the motion of prying roots under foot,
But are silent from fear –
Fear of retribution in the night
And the scorn of others.

As that child returns as a man,
He hopes these memories were but the fancy of youth.
Smiling at the notion of such spawn of nature,
He approaches his town.
Stopping in his tracks,
He sees them.
Recognition.

Their plans continue,
The town slumbers
To a sylvan lullaby.

If only they knew,
they would go to the edge of the town,
they would chop and burn,
digging up roots,
freeing themselves of the poison
which has consumed generations.

Picking up his belongings,
Heading out of town,
He passes their sentry point,
They whisper and smile as he passes.
Their prisoners are safe – for now.

Gerald Lee Jordan
Diamond Harbour NZ
13 January 2013