If it’s true there is hope

for a tree cut down,

I will walk from Alaska

down to Patagonia

with an axe in one hand

and seeds in the other,

planting treehouses along the way

because even vagabonds

need a place to stay, sometimes.

They’ll grow

high up in the canopy,

lined with jars to collect moonlight

to act as votive reminders

that it is on the darkest nights

when we can see the most light

coming down from auroras

and milky ways.

And even though the moon

is just a super bright rock,

she is still the beacon

that guides our way home.

These days

I don’t know if my return home

finds me in a cathedral

or a cabin,

whether my communion

is wine and bread from a goblet

or whiskey

pulled straight from the bottle in the mountains,

but I do know

three years ago,

I started inking a labyrinth on my arm

to remember where I started.

Each bend reads like a line on a topo map;

you can trace a route

straight to my heart from that summit.

And in those high places

emerging butterflies unfurl into living prayer flags.

I will watch each winged square

tie in to the next

like alpine semaphore

strung from peak to peak.

Reminders to every passerby

that there is loss all around us

but we are linked

by the love that makes each loss,

which is how I hold on

to each hope

that grows from a tree cut down.