River Teeth

Trees fall, decay without ceremony along the shore
of the forgiving river, leaving only knots
whorled and dark from the site where trunks once bore
their first branches. In time, all else rots
but these river teeth, sunk in sandy gums, scarred
nuggets that are the small change of immortality,
all of heaven that trees know. Life is hard.
Once I held a man’s ashes, his finality
heavy in my hands. Had each ash been a tale told
of him and the wind caught ashes in a bold
sweep, leaving only the crux of his mystery,
how like a river tooth his core story would be.