The Dogwood

She with fond memories of elders now gone,
& I with my own youth to call back to mind,
bought a ten gallon dogwood last year, late in spring
(& though maybe later than some would advise
for a tree that the hot summer’s swelter might fry,
we thought of it grown and the flowers in bloom
& risked all & planted it one afternoon).

We nursed it with water through many dry days
& watched it grow parched & its leaves curl
(until late November, when those leaves were lost
& the ground turned to stone in the grip of the frost).

Now, one short year later, our still watchful eyes
watch the new shoots come from its dormant limbs;
The leaves are unwinding & stretched to the sun,
its roots well established and firm in the ground.
The young tree we planted to grow, with our love,
has passed through the seasons still vibrant and whole;

And we two? Also thriving, and counting the ways
that the universe joining us here deserves praise.

29 MAR 2004

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