Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In the Big-Leaf Maples

We named them and believed them holy:

--Whispering Winds
--Old Nettle Patch
--Horseshoe Bend

And possibly others, but they've long disappeared
and given way to trim houses and tidy lawns.

We knew the scrape of bark on the belly,
how far a branch could bend before breaking.
Knew how the topmost branches gained pliancy
the higher one climbed, as close to clouds as possible.
Knew the camouflage of leaves in summer, the stark
visiblity against a winter's framework of limbs.
This wasn't play, but something deeper than that.
It wasn't fun: it was everything.

This was what I dreamed of during the long dull
Catholic sermons each Sunday, and I shed
my tights and patent leathers fast as I could
once home, into rough denims & a sweatshirt,
so that I could get on with the real work
of being alive.


  1. Oh, T, I could so relate to this piece. This exquisite last line could be mine, exactly, except for "hell fire and brimstone Baptist" instead of Catholic.

  2. Willow, yep, we knew what was important!