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My candle was the molten tree, photo by my father, Dr. John L. Pollock, taken on my 7th birthday, edited by Erika Burkhalter

Liquid gold ignites the tips

of the needles on the pine.

Birdsong trickles through the air,

a myriad of voices declaring the world divine.

Beneath the solitary sentry

perched upon the hill

the darkness climbs up the slope,

getting ever closer still

to the place where shadows rope

along the mighty trunks,

ascending to the sky,

and the light of day surrenders

to the night,

a little more, by and by….

And a memory bubbles forth

of another day and time,

distant images of childhood

flickering through my mind,

as my vision lingers,

on that glowing pine.

There was a birthday

when I did not have a party.

But my parents took me to the fields

and we picnicked among the barley.

I wore a crown of Queen Anne’s Lace

and wove a garland out of clover,

and upon my caramel cake,

they placed a wildflower.

My candle was the molten tree,

perched across the valley,

atop a row of sentries,

lined up as if in a galley,

marching across the fields,

to guard the wheat below

where the robins liked to dally.

Did they know?

My parents?

That they had given me that day

the power to see a vision in a tree,

a poem in the air

redolent with the scent of hay

and of dirt, seeded with promise?

And, above me now,

the palm fronds drip

shadows towards the earth.

And the sky melts into a puddle

a bit darker around its girth.

And the earth,

she breathes,

and draws another breath.

Overhead, the giant Birds of Paradise

saw through the rising moon

and the parrots squawk and squeal

as they fly into the bloom

of an indigo sunset.

And I feel the earth sigh

as she welcomes her creatures

to her bosom and to her shores,

and whispers a bit of wisdom

and weaves a little lore.

And again, I do recall

the touch of the glowing hay

upon which dreams were born

that long ago day

when my father did not place

a candle upon that wild cake,

that day we went into the fields

that skirted around the lake.

And with that action,

I was warned.

I knew the world in which I walked,

might be different from the norm.

And the earth,

she breathes,

and she draws another breath,

and I inhale the liquid gold

that carries us from birth to death.

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And my parents placed purple wildflowers upon my birthday cake….

If you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy Voices https://medium.com/@erikaburkhalter/voices-34fd4de2444a

and Hot Flashes and the Quantum Divide…Chronicles of a Yogini https://medium.com/@erikaburkhalter/hot-flashes-and-the-quantum-divide-chronicles-of-a-yogini-2ccb46947389

Photographer, yogi, cat-mom, lover of travel and nature, spreading amazement for Mother Earth, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MA Yoga, MS Neuropsychology)

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