Visionary: A Poem


the night Uncle & I wandered
away from the fire, into the woods,

the tears of the last story I heard
still frozen on my face, the smoke

of the message billowing like a beacon
that we could follow if we get lost

it was mid-April, a late snowfall
still apparent in our lungs, in our breaths

he described, in sensory details,
how his favorite tree saved him

in a blizzard, “many moons ago”
how this tree, the one he was leaning on,

reminded him of how lucky he felt
to be living          he spoke with conviction,

so deeply that he put a vision into me:
I could see the V-shaped trunk,

the icicles, the whipping powdery
dust,         Uncle with rough hands

hanging on to a dead branch
for dear life         I felt chilled

in the heart of unreliable Spring
I saw the tree return to star glow,

saw Uncle carried away with the wind,

                          “You see that?” he whispered

he was smiling like we shared a secret,
“Yeah,” I said, “that was…something…”


“I have to tell you something,” he says
over the phone, beginning of November

“I had to cut that old tree down…
winter…ya know?”           Cold sadness,

crackling fire wood & cedar tea,
more legends, more warming stories

Uncle and I never forgetting, forever
reminded by the presence of stars & snow

Published by Jennifer Patino


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