After the ground is burned and
its black skeleton trees removed
the machines scrape
till it bleeds yesterday,
worms rolling up to escape;
the warm dark disturbed
by needs no one understands,
by dreams that include no
living protective layer, no smell,
nothing holding life
or its confusion.
When the ground is cleansed
by those who do not know
what it is, what it means,
do not weep.
Start again.
Bring in deep mulch to blanket the startled ground,
to hide its nakedness, and when it asks,
say: “it was a dream; a nightmare, yes, go back to bed.”
Plant new trees, small and tender. Tell them stories
so they know they can be
penthouses for song.
Plant flowers, by design.
The ground forgets its nightmares,
even stone ones, if allowed.
The ground is wise.