“I Knew a Woman”

I knew a woman, lovely as a tree.
Her skin was polished white like birch,
Her hair ablaze like autumn leaves.
The only thing green was in her eyes,
The last remnant of spring remembering.
Her hardened limbs upheld the sky,
A woman Atlas or Tree of Life.
Her head bent back, her back arched,
And shook when the wind
Went through her careless hair.
It was a shiver down her spine
That drove deep into her roots,
And still she stood her ground.

The sun was melting, saying goodbye.
It was only then, in the dark,
When I could not see her eyes
That she looked like a ghost in the graveyard
Standing over the bones
Of what used to be.