Our clicking heels fade down the cobbled stones
and around the rainbow’s end that pot-houses the golden slurry
of bubbled beans and franks. Far from tilled fields,
the lines of heaving trees, once daunting and rimmed with mystery,
become as undulating rows along a familiar boulevard.
We’re gingham girls from out the family clapboard.
We chase crystal ball whims and bow down to crowned heads of Europe.
And though there are many faces in the darkened wood,
we feel safe clutching the trunk, running our fingers
across rough hides. Trees are so terrifyingly tall
with tendrils screwed deep under sod. They whisper
to one another, pass ancient secrets culled from out the husk.
We’re little. We like the cover as ambient light filters
through a shifting lid of latticework. It’s what we know.
We feel safe beneath the burls.
But like Valhalla dumped out from Odin’s nest,
a city of light rises from the sodden prairie.
Celestial voices call us from the safety of the wood.
We step out into the sun, into the light where trees tower
no more. The splendid city is close now and holds wonders
forged to fit every prayer. We want to lick it.
Hidden somewhere deep within the polished walls of the city
is a balloon station, baskets at the ready
for feats of stratospheric derring-do.
We want to ride on currents of air.
We break from the trees, run there
laughing, bounding through the fields
of poppies, poppies.