Knotholes scar the broad boards of the faded fence,
like age spots on a weathered face
framed by funky hot pink bangs
of bougainvilla blooms.
Knotholes cheapen lumber for builders
but enrich it for me.
Knotholes are cross-sections of joints,
Reminders of branches that used to be
Buttresses for birds’ nests,
Byways for squirrels, and
Beds for raccoons.
Knotholes record, in the grooves of their rings,
The soundtracks of chipmunks, owls, wrens, ravens, and jays--
Lifetimes in squabble and song
Playing silently on.
Knotholes are signs of outgrowth, and so of Life--
The life of the tree, the lives of each of its denizens,
The lives of we who inhaled its Invisible gifts.
They signify the whole of the ever-giving tree.
Knotholes are not holes but