Deer-quiet of the morning woods
dark center lit from within
sunlight girdling a single trunk like a Maypole.
Asters burst white and weedy,
a fir bends low to trap its
few moments of frank illumination.
To live in fitful light
to live as partnered to darkness
to burst and to recede,
humus-deep and layered,
intricate patchwork that stubbles
and shifts with the laboring sun,
the rhythm of humility
basal code of ferment, formation
toadstool, bark, tassels of milkweed,
the rustle beneath.