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.