The Tower Journal

Sandra Anfang

Witness (Bristlecone)

Dwarfed sentry
twisted under millennial weight
trunk wrapped in shrapnel
like my brother's calves
pegged with the purple heart of Vietnam
regard me with the weary eyes
that recorded the building of pyramids
Pharoah’s workers raising the walls
brick by tortured brick.

Something in the brain of slow growing cells
stunned molecules that cup the seeds
will themselves to sprout
memory captured in the slotted eye
five thousand years of stills
before we set foot to trail.

Named for the bluish spurt of needles
in your ingrown cone
deformed in the Dada style
like a Thalidomide arm
bristling with the light of eons
you have seen it all—
and plenty.

As the aging tissue dies
take the slim xylem highway
that runs from root to leaf.

Scrappy flesh
holds no candle to majestic Sequoia—
all flash and razzle—
the Gandhi of trees
your story penned in the smallest whorl
the wrapped and riprapped
gyrus and sulcus of your dun dermis
arching up from talus
just below the treeline
zen eunuch
frozen in time.

You who have seen it all—
and plenty—
bear stigmata in your pith;
carved initials and
a leatherized shoe
toe upturned in mock surprise
your Sancho Panza on the trail.

Copyright © 2014 Sandra Anfang

Sandra AnfangSandra Anfang is a lifelong poet who began to write fervently about two years ago. She is an online poem-a-day junkie, and, aside from a few workshops here and there, is mostly self-taught. She hosts Rivetown Poets: A-Muse-ing Mondays, a monthly poetry series in Petaluma. Sande has self-published four collections of poetry and is now wading in the waters of poetry submission. Her poems have appeared in the The Shine Journal, Poetalk, San Francisco Peace and Hope, and West Trestle Review. Sandra is inspired by the natural world and the common threads that bind us together.

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter 2014