Withered willow tree—
a pond in winter.
Milk sugars, conscience, honey;
thick cream lightens strong coffee.
deep wells drilled into bedrock,
water nothing drinks.
Petrified wood black as coal,
living pulp transforms to stone.
Roots white as lightning—
nightcrawlers pulled from the earth
dried up with sunlight.
A mole burrows in the dark—
earth’s shadow swallows its sun.
Preston is an English professor at Eastfield College and working on a second Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas.