Long ago, a black-headed boy slung
his mail order rifle over one rangy shoulder,
withdrew from the world, unnoticed.
His footfalls entered damp woods
at the edge of town; hush of wet leaves
receiving – at once Indian, silent
in soft leather, and rabbit, velvet ears tuned.
Mist filtered through black branches
Can I tell you his vision?
A clearing and an oak on fire,
flaming sword pointing skyward,
the weight of a thousand butterflies
drying their bittersweet wings.