Drought and Dryad

sunlight heavy upon her branches
leaves shrivel
bark peels
still she reaches upward
an appeal to the heavens
twigs extended
as if to snare passing clouds
squeeze out the rain

there are no clouds

she bows beneath her burden
color green nonexistent
all the world is crackled dust
shifting and whirling
restless brown clouds

sister trees
cast seeds to the breeze
murmuring of life elsewhere
she tastes wind on naked skin
even the air is parched
raspy with dust
roots clutch at hardened nothingness
where worms have retreated
to new depths
her bared branches claw at the sun
each twig brittle