The surface of oak: it is earth, haunted
by weaving years. Its fine body, branded
by the grain of its slow, considered growth,
like stretch marks of a contented mother
or the residue of the tide.
Beneath the bark, we keep a finer pattern
flowing through us: lines of time, binding
our knots and whorls, imperfections, souls,
so that, in cross-section, we might appear
as gods in our design.