Heartwood

thornpetal

He thrums a dead druid’s drumbeat
upon the sadly humming heartwood,
the sap dried by the nearby hearth’s heat
while he stares out from the shadow of his hood.

Once upon a time she was a desirable dryad
upon which he could carve no lasting claim,
for her heart was triply-trunked, a branching triad
that grew in many directions without shame.

Throughout the abbey she had ensnared men
with her pink petals and fulsome fruits,
tempting his brothers away from Heaven
and suckling from them with her roots.

Beneath the shadows and the heavy cowl
he smiles sardonically, rapping his knuckles
upon the length of her body—her wooden scowl
etched harsh…deep…as he softly chuckles.

He had not resented her for being a goddess;
rather, he cared little for the souls of others
and he did not care if he was lost or godless,
anymore than had his wayward brothers.

No, she had rejected him, and his rut,
when he came to her to lust unto his fill,
and so he took up an ax and thereby cut
her pale bark so that the red sap did spill.

Now only he remains at that cloistered retreat,
and he takes his time to avenge his wrong,
her heart resounding with the rhythmic beat
of his own hollow, lifeless, unfeeling song.

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