ELEGY FOR TREES
June 10, 2022
by Rachel Feder
to be printed
on paper. Start again.
Like the tree begins again
each year, chlorophyll
bursting into the veins
like a rush of blood.
Or stay, perhaps.
Linger like an evergreen
the needles sharp
as air, the vine a red tendril.
Can a tree feel
surprise? Can it feel
trust beyond the cycle of shared breath?
Did the roots entwine, offer
to the soil one last hymn?
These things are real. The spring begins again.
And where am I when they fall?
At the botanic gardens, where the guard
accuses me of stealing? Or wooden
in a dentist’s chair, monotony of some small
ailment, my body already showing its rings,
the wear of years? Or maybe here:
where I always most belong, crouched
beneath the child’s next precarity,
to be where he lands.
Look how I open my hands.
Look how I brace for beginning.
Rachel Feder writes poetry and prose and teaches at the University of Denver.