Cyndle Plaisted Rials
and Michelle Wallace

Michelle Wallace
Tree of Life in Deep Ellum

Mixed media
Inspiration Piece

The Air Between the Leaves is the Spirit
By Cyndle Plaisted Rials


The tree of life appeared in outline first, a cloud of green
filling in slowly then words, in the calligraphic hand
of God, were written in the veins on the leaves—words
I could not speak, words I could not read.

I trace instead a tiny segment of this information,
graph the tracks of nutrients just from stem
to leaf tip. Things we can parse and quantify. I can imagine
the trunk shape of these many passageways, root to branch.

I have heard the splay of the roots under the dirt
is equal to the spread of branches in the sky. As if the tree
has a reflection, a vital dark brother. Cain/Abel? Jacob/Esau?

No, a complementary relationship. One sleeps deeper under snow,
breathes soft through grasses, a quiet protected life. The underground
tree is more father than brother. And the leaves are his begotten—
the air between the leaves is the spirit.

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