The Buckeye


I once knew a philosopher
who contemplated seeds
so long he took root
and grew to impossible heights.

As the seasons changed, his hues
turned from green to brown
and the hair fell from his head
in piles around his trunk.

He dropped a buckeye, and I picked it up,
turned it over, gave it a bite to make
sure it was real. It was hard and knotty
like his face. And though I saw
he was old now, he seemed to be smiling
but it was just a trick of wood.