the long march

have you ever heard

the wind marching like troops

in the tops of the sycamores?

i stand transfixed on the pavement,

attuned to the naked glory

of a late afternoon sycamore,

pale reachings streaked with grey

and bare but for three flaming leaves.

i am listening hard,

but i hear only the hollow whistle of the wind:

no jangle of weaponry, no orders bellowed,

no tell-tale susurrus of shuffled feet.

if an army marches here to show

the Lord is with us,

i have never heard it.

perhaps only balsam trees will do?

or mayhap no celestial force

blows along with us.

perhaps we march alone –

and should this be the case,

perhaps we should quit now.

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