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.