“Forested Arms”

through bark and bough
bursting, demanding
light speckled leaves
fast-growing saxifrage
garlands gladly given,
hoisted around shoulders
which once bore rifle stocks
blooms keep blood at bay,
pressed into wounds
hereto unnoticed; trees
older than bullets break,
blasting splinters through air
cutting flowers and faces

he stops and drops his gun,
propped against a dying oak,
then walks, bloodstained
boots crunching leaves,
into forested arms.

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