Hollow Again

Hollow Again
by Paul J. Willis

(Quercus agrifolia)

Look at this trunk, burnt hollow,
     keyholed from side to side.
          Yet, in spite of a few dead limbs,
               a crown of leaves pushes against

the patient sky. So we might
     flourish, in spite of ourselves,
          evacuated of fortitude. Paul
               said it: in weakness, strength;

in death, life. I don’t know how.
     But most days, a long resilience
          of xylem and phloem.
               Of chlorophyll. Ex nihilo.

—from Somewhere to Follow