Ladder of my skin, white pine
circular history of the tree, quiet
columns of my monumental home,
cage around my bird-like heart.
To you I leave the human realm,
to lie immortal in the earth, to press
my image deep into the roots that
hold me like a jealous lover.
Of your purpose, God ordained,
how tall you stood, how confident
your graceful spine! And though
your timbres held a soul divine
I've left you, gladly, in the ground.
And what is left a broken ivory ladder,
whose pieces formed final access to the sky,
Go with confidence and pride, my soul,
as high as joy will take you.