~ by Lisa Ann Reilich
I am fascinated by the Trees.
Green trees, brown trees, and most
especially the long, gray sprouting
Red Maple Trees. Their tenacity,
even when sawed close to the ground,
to recover and come yet again, sprouts
shooting from their severed trunk. Puzzling.
Entrancing even … and even more, I am fascinated
by the tall and rough black-barked elders of these kind,
reaching seventy feet high, (maybe more?) stretching
festive limbs filled with delicately-fingered branches
reaching to heaven — only to have them heavy and strong
seemingly torn from their sockets, leaving fresh orange
and brown sap-laden rough holes after one solid storm.
And was it the wind (that tore off the limb)?
Or was the limb only waiting
for the wind to arrive so it could fall?
Was she biding her time while still
reaching for the sun? Letting go a little
here, a little there, only noticed if
you listened carefully for her creaking
on bitter black February nights?
And what of the Mother tree left so marred,
gaping widely and slack-mouthed
from her splintered wound? Her two left leaders
stretch still to the heavens, and soon Spring sap
will fill her and them out in festive red seed wings
trimmed with green-hued unfurling leaves.
Surely, she still feels the pain, the absence,
looking down, (her fallen self) her daughter
heavy at her feet — her child who, even now,
through some God-bestowed drive, like a death spiral,
unfurls green leaves from herself, as if her last breath —
her final offering to still hungry fawns who have,
in the wombs of their starving mothers,
this Winter overcome.
2022, vs. 3
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