Joy Harjo

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"I like trees.  They seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do."

Willa Cather
1876-1947


A Final Affection

    I love the accomplishments of trees,
    How they try to restrain great storms
    And pacify the very worms that eat them.
    Even their deaths seem to be considered.
    I fear for trees, loving them so much.
    I am nervous about each scar on bark,
    Each leaf that browns. I want to
    Lie in their crotches and sigh,
    Whisper of sun and rains to come.

    Sometimes on summer evenings I step
    Out of my house to look at trees
    Propping darkness up to the silence.

    When I die I want to slant up
    Through those trunks so slowly
    I will see each rib of bark, each whorl;
    Up through the canopy, the subtle veins
    And lobes touching me with final affection;
    Then to hover above and look down
    One last time on the rich upliftings,
    The circle that loves the sun and moon,
    To see at last what held the darkness up.

    Paul Zimmer

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