No sign of her –
a single woman
waits at the tree.
I’d always thought
of it as my tree.
Towering crown,
trunks as deep as houses.
Red ants march past;
some climb my shoe.
One bites my ankle,
but I don’t move.
Red swell. My friend,
the boy, runs in circles
around the tree. If I give
chase and slip no one
will catch me. I crush figs
underfoot. Skin, flesh
and seeds. The birds roost
and scream their news.
Incense rises from the temple
and fills the evening sky.
Under the branches of the tree,
a girl waits for her mother
behind a curtain of roots.