The woman tree

by Liz Trew

She returns to her birthplace
a highgrove of trees in virgin forest,
carries her body to heal in her territory,

washes him away
bathes wounds on a soft plash of leaves,
soothes swollen cheeks and welts on her back
to nourish herself and love her language.

Down through the medicine trees
she gathers wild olive and weeping sage
her breath fragrant peppermint and sweet lichen gum,
seeds herself in the cool shed of earth,
mends her broken spine,
receives her lengthening body,
thorns to pierce his bitterness;
sways for her woman lover
knee-deep in ferns.

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