In the apple, or better, an oak,
leafless, dark boughed and
outstretched in many a twisted limb,
where mosslight and lichen glow
under globes of thunder broom -
these tree thieves sip upon
the destiny of their branches.
A tangle, a knot, a green galaxy
of berried stars, unhidden,
words unsilent, yet unvoiced,
and if there ever was
a secret, then it is now only
the mistle thrush who knows.
My mother used to say
that mistletoe was like a baby;
groundless and full of taking, but
for the child, I think, they are pearls
of poison, weeping waxy, glue
for the tiny feet of little wrens -
such suffering, to be trapped
in birdlime, here, I hold the promise
of a stem and the grave speaks.