Barry Ballard

Dawn: The Ceremony

The river intuitively knows to
calm itself, to stretch its tributary
arms to the shale covered shore. The Cypress trees
still lean into their dark reflections but exclude
themselves from the rippling dialogue and listen.
Even the harsh chiseled stare of granite
along the ridge is softened by the drift
of shadow, like spires loosened from their tension.

I've imagined that they've seen the purpose
etched like a map of passion charred by fire
across my face. We wait like old comrades
for the Absolute to begin its light-struck
ceremony, for the blue skin to glisten,
for the fingered leaves to grab color—that lasts.