Royalty by John Dowell

Aristocratic oaks and hickories 
move their limbs languorously 
choosing on whom to bestow lemon light 
or shade, like bishops
disseminating the words of the sun.
Irreverent children climb branches, 
pick at bark and hang upside down screaming, 
Look at me! Look at me! 
clattering up trunks 
and fly from runneled brow 
to eyelash
The pileated woodpecker 
with red-spiked hairdo 
knocks away and doesn’t care 
who hears. He knows the truth. 
Under their robes 
the trees have bugs.
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