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Oh, but the trees in springtime (poem)


(Photo by Kevin Young)


oh, but the trees in springtime
when the bud first opens and litters the ground with it’s remains
and the tender petals emerge, fresh and palest green
upon the face of a stately tree that bore the winter snow
with ease – slumbering, white powder on black branches
alighted occasionally by a visiting blue jay or cardinal, red
awakened by the golden kiss of heaven – all spring long it stretches itself upward and onward in a slow, luxurious yawn
drinking heavily from the sky turned black with terrible rumbles of thunder
the tender peddles flip to expose their bellies while the world and the cardinals shiver in fright

Oh, but the trees in springtime
when fat fisted children reach into the grass the fall before
and pull back two or three winged seeds
from Maple trees and scream in delight as they helicopter
to the ground
next to the trunk older than their mother’s mother
and just as watchful
now remembers why she loved those children as children of her own sprout up just outside the reach of her canopy

Oh, but the trees in springtime
but the liveoak seems almost like a god of ancient times
with a base as wider than a man can embrace
with tree limbs stronger than the river flows
who – in the fall drops acorns faster than squirrels can gather
the spirits within you can hear snort with mirth – when one of their artillery happens to fall on someone’s head
they don’t call them Live Oak – for nothing

But oh, the trees in springtime
new leaves combined with the smell of the earth
new life as old creatures give away to new birth
promise a thousand days underneath the cool of their shade
is where I read my favorite book
and upon my shoulder and neck and side of my face
sunlight dappled touch kisses me every time the wind
run’s its fingers through the branches