“Thin Rings” – Poem: by Heather Whitley Gibson

Thin Rings.

Thin Rings.

Roots. Fruits of trees bleed through.

As a tap, blood thick, sanguine- as Maple Syrup.Wooden-fluid.

Slowing. Down. The Clapping sounds.

A hand, hurt by healing, all those stitches, now, Hanging upside-down,

In a Florida tree, pinched between its vital branches. Monsoon.

Her hands are missing. Omitted. Outside,  no one missing her.

By and when are now conventions. As the transport helicopters serve,

Now holding her names and her rings. One a silver dolphin.

She is , entangled, burgeoned, within the tree’s growth.

Her breath, stems from the ground. The leaves move.

As rings are held, growing, dying, the tree bloats waits its life, 

Leaves turn over, her silhouette, still hung,

 Swaying in quiet, upside-down.

So quietly, absorbing, as dolphins turn in water, droplets emulating as if

Dictating a translation. quietly held for a stone unturned,

Where her head would lay, nameless.

The sun shines through, round yet timeless, it marks by endless shadows,

As if  a veil or a wedding dress.

It trails. It sees through to the iris that grows in a glance, without intention. Upside down,

The world moves without a trace. Looking down threw water, at the bluish ground, the dolphin,

Flips over, jarring the shadows,

Fallen on by barren limbs, laden with knobs of growth and thoughts,

Yet, to be opened . Beyond the graves nakedness, and the oddness of frozen ghosts, winter continues.

She had regrets, fears and eyes that sung, and hands that met.

Just as she had absorbed a needle, the tree absorbed her drugged skin.

Three days, lost but caught, hanging upside-down, the clapping slowed.

 On the chance, that was thought over their was no audience.

The clapping slowed. As water clots, icicle droplets hang. On bald branches, waiting.

 The dolphin dives backward.

Fallen, falling, eyes shut, facing the water.

She slashes, splashing loudly. ON A REFLECTIVE SURFACE.

Water ripples.