“There was a man made out of earth”, they said.
“Twisted reeds and lattice-grass knotted at his heels,
And sinew born of old, old seashells tightened
Thigh and chest, and tilted head,
And knuckles pushing down to home”.
They pulled long feathers from their belts
And indented his quickly flaking skin,
Mapping out whorls and rings and family trees
Whose tight canopy seems folded twice, and falling still.
The children sit at the widest point, and watch.
Soon it is we, the children, piling soil into hands.
Over years it fills in lines,
Leaves old cracked seconds mattified.
The expectation sits on boughs above us,
Dropping the want to build a man of earth,
Or family tree
To call our own.