There’ll come a season when you’ll stretch
Black boards to cover me
– J M Synge
Somewhere in the murmur of the fourth
decade, at the end of the dining room
leaning upright against a bookcase;
the lid bearing his name and dates,
that moment when the blank beyond
the dash of birth gets engraved.
Admiring the grain, but resisting
the temptation to run my hand
over the craftsmanship,
instead, drifting to the wood
that will one day encase, the standing tree
that in the end will fall for us.
A species of oak perhaps in keeping
with tradition and how many more
growth rings for a man of over forty.
In whose earth are its roots extending?