crooked arms



I recently spent three days at a friends cabin.  This Ponderosa Pine is within an arms length of the deck I spent most of my time on.

they look like crooked arms
appendages that have seen better days
gnarled, weathered, leafless limbs
turned gray by lack of life and years
their usefulness seems something of the past

yet there they are like stairs
a ladder reaching heavenward
inviting someone to take hold
ascending from the shadows to a place
where crystal skies and sunshine rule the day

like wrinkles on an aged face
each crease a story told or not
of days gone by
the shape of life
read in the furrows left behind

initial thoughts of pruning them
now seem a sacrilege
each crooked arm a testimony
of a life that was
a life that is

perhaps my crooked arms are gifts
treasures of the past
reminding me where I have been
stepping stones
to life that lays ahead

removing them for beauty’s sake
is a mistake I think
their usefulness is not perhaps
found in their outer loveliness
but rather in the deaths that brought me here