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What Words could fold this paper into a tree?
How can I coax its ridges back into bark, rub its creases
into nodules, flatten its already concave belly
for someone to carve a note to the green
world that we have not intended such forest-sorrow?
That we’re merely lax, hungry people, unhappy and
often lazy—How could we have better read the signs
from the nesting tree-hearts when we made motors,
sheared limbs, lit fires, and lay one board over another
dividing space from space to hold more things?
We’re worried now there’s no way back
to the words our ancestors sing. All the rivers are damned
and directed. Do the bridges know global positions?
Does soil beneath buildings feel each aching acre
where once was an orchard? Hard to imagine
whose idea it was to hide missiles in silos among pastures
and meadows in God’s backyard. Will our exhaust
banish the stars until we have nothing to read by
but our own glaring florescence? We recall chewing roots
as in an old dream, how they offered themselves,
promised the knowledge to temper all we’ve mastered
blindly. Even the Tree of Life’s violation has come down
to a vellum invitation. Hospitals offer oxygen ridden
with airborne diseases. There’s no air in the air there!
Tell me what spell to conjure, my dear disposables
to free you from input and output, stacking
and shredding. What can I say to get you to share
your healing shelter, your flowering secrets,
birded branches to hold us in shade once again.
Deborah DeNicola is the author of many books including Where Divinity Begins published by Alice James Press.
Copyright 2018 Deborah DeNicola
I love this poem. So many words caught my attention: forest-sorrow, vellum, chewing roots.
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