Borderlands /5

by Liz Trew

Sizakele returns to her birthplace,
a highgrove of trees in virgin forest,
this woman bludgeoned to death in a city location
by a man hating her kind.

She carries her body to heal in her territory,
lays down her wounds on a soft plash of leaves
to nourish herself and love her language,
to bathe swollen cheeks and welts on her back.

Down through the medicine trees
she gather wild olive and weeping sage,
her breath fragrant peppermind and sweet lichen gum,
seeds herself in the cool shed of earth,

mends her broken spine,
receives into her leaves weins and oil glands,
thorns to pierce his bitterness;
yields to her lover with outstretched branches,
this woman becoming a tree.

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