Feet filed passed the gnarled old tree,
eager, instead, for the vibrant grove beyond
until one day, a pair came to rest at its roots
and stayed, eager for the crooked branches above.
Soon others stopped, though puzzled at the pause.
What good’s a dead tree without leaves? they asked
but only the sound of tramping feet gave an answer.
So they, too, trooped away, leaving the naked limbs behind
and only when a balmy breeze stirred the air,
a raven-black head popped from the tangled spires
and whispered, “Crooked is as crooked does.”
before nestling back against a bough.
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