The man rejoiced in the tree of spreading limbs With verdant leaves and golden apples. He rested in its gentle shadow Deservedly for all his faithful care. He reached for one of the golden apples And bit it, choking on its rotten flesh. He, worried, but resigned, began to spray Obsessively until the fruit was good. And while he sprayed, he watched the wrens escape His treatment, hovering above the tree. They were old friends who nested year around Committed as he was to living well. And so his life proceeded, never able To be rid of the rottenness forever, Enjoying false security in the sweeten times And suffering doom and gloom in the rotten times. But there were times he'd see beyond his tree. Not far away within his reach were fields Of grape and grain, available freely. He felt, though, vaguely threatened by the fields.
But even more, beyond these fields he'd see On days the sunlight pierced the rain a bow Of dreamy spectrum arching ground to sky, And he yearned to walk upon its joyous road.
But how could he escape his tree And how might he refuse its fruit To trust the unknown uncertainty Of novel food to walk the færie bow?
Again he looked out over the fertile field. A cardinal, brilliant red, was picking grain And straw in the field, then rising on the wind. It flew beyond the fields towards the spectral bow.
He reached beyond his tree and harvested Some grapes and grain, discovering their taste To be refreshingly invigorating And tantalizingly fulfilling.
So further in the field he harvested. But bit by bit, the grape and grain diminished Until he found himself too far to return. But still the cardinal beckoned him on.
As never before, he struggled to carry on Through the sparsely growing fields of grape and grain, Their harvest still the taste of novel chance. Yet the sight of the cardinal sustained him on.
His tree became a dream and faded to gray. As step by step, through sun and moon he trekked, Embraced by uncertainty, nourished by hope. At last, though thin, he stepped upon the bow.
©2007, John A. Mills