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I always need to see something green from my window. I look at the trees every day as I write and think.

Just one tree

Gillian_ferguson_photo_high_resby Gillian K Ferguson28 Nov 2013

One tree is enough to sustain me.
In the city - today blinking the last gold leaves
off her skeleton.
Frost embroidered, I’d gather them, but the needleworker
is the wild old woman who also does doomed snowflake crochet.

I remember messages I romantically wrote on orange leaf stars
to send friends from the wilderness -
my burning autumn paper, wording the crucible there.
Decomposed to black fuzz on crumbling ochre by morning;
like a bewitched fairy thing -
and the direct poem of that golden day was not preserved.

The tree begins to write an austere, intricate runic poem
on unrelenting blue. Her last green vowels reddening,
mailing their gilded letters.
Hurting the sort of sky that makes you cry.

With her wood bones, fingered spire, green rod,
she conducts me to earth. By leaf-eye, knuckled root.
She is the seasons. It is still happening beneath the concrete!
She understands stars. They perch in her like silver birds.
A hundred times a day I charge myself by her.

She is rigidly Victorian; somewhat imperious -
but a bit mussed up. Twitchily neurotic; lonely, enclosed.
Shivery - still savage at heart in the human zoo,
she trembles every Full Moon, when mad dogs howl,
fat wolves built of tame tins - harlot cats yowl.

Still desperately helicopters winged keys –
stunted, dun-brown angels of her cause,
humble as sparrows -
which never will unlock her green chemistries here;
unfurl the billion billion leaves, tight as a bomb, inside each one.
Trees that could grow until the organic end of time.
The whole Poem of the Sycamore Tree is raining on me.
This is her aerial bombardment of DNA. Mission.
Lo - they fit me! Opening the ancient leaves
of our secret shared diary; archaic vocabulary of our ancestor.

I know the past and futures of spring leaves.
Galactic energy of whole trees -
back to star ash and swamp:
forward to a weeping alien world.