yesterday in the woods
i saw a birch.
i patted the silver trunk and said, "hi girl, you sure are pretty,"
because she was and she should know.
but as i passed, something dark caught my eye.
glancing up i saw black slashes spiraling up her smooth trunk,
evenly spaced, violent, spectacular.
doubling back, i pet her more gently and asked,
"honey, were these born or given?  because they are beautiful, but look like scars."
and she asked, "does it matter?"
so i considered...
no i suppose it doesn't.
as i moved on, i said, "you're a beauty,"
but she didn't answer.
she knew already.