Grandmother Willow

far-reaching down,
tangled, shady fingers whispering low.
A gentle touch upon the still water’s skin,
Grandmother Willow speaks to me.

Her spells tripping the tongue that curls along the dips and rises,
bound in bark and thin, long, leaves.

She sees me, mirrored
beneath the surface,
gazing up through
the undulating,
canal’s curve.
Vision veiled in a prism.

She sings to me;
A throaty emerald voice of velvet moss,
lush arms looping round my bloated corpse,
bobbing the waterline;

Aged songs of time’s passing;
of men,
of horses,
of children’s little hands
trailing her tousled locks…
And she knows.

She tosses her verdant head,
sounds of her craft,
soft green on her breath
carries on a rush of sweet air.
Lilies and irises
nestle against the warm bank,
bow low to her.

Grandmother Willow,
bestowed with her shining crown,
cradles my rancid ashes,
and guides me down stream
to the wide open maw of the river’s mouth.