Perhaps if it had not
worked its way through,
going against the grain,
it would not have warped.
Maybe the woodenness
would have become
more pliable.
The thin veneer might have
held its luster.
Countless layers damaged
by the steady drip.
Tears that carve canyons,
like woodworms beneath
the bark.
Gaping holes that hold,
echoes that haunt.
Salty remnants of tears
when the strings were pulled.
Helpless the puppet remains,
witness to the erosion,
the water ravaged face
peeling back with time.

M. Zane McClellan

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