Torsos thick as trucks rise from a huge,
silted tangle of roots, colossal limbs
embrace the other’s empty space,
side by side, like old friends – twin
Valley Oaks entwined in one thatched
canopy for centuries where eagles
choose to roost above corrals,
where lumbering bulls claim shade
and the remnants of natives come
for a feather – and where boy and father
learned how anger works.
After fifty years, voices soften,
the horse dance sort of cattle slows
as eagles idly share a myth of men –
recalling swallowed tears and a boy’s
sweet solace found in booming mantras
of profanity, iambic ire and the mountains
of alliterative discord that finally drove
the old bull off. They come less often now
that one lets go its grasp, sheds hollow
limbs of marrow tunneled by decades of ants.
Great white heads cocked, they still stay
for the entertainment – looking down their
hooked yellow beaks at the show below.