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Posts Tagged ‘aspen’

Catkins in March

 

 

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—”Thou mayest”— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open.

            —John Steinbeck, East of Eden

 

 

Today it was the aspen buds

that ruined my heart.

 

One glimpse of them

through the window, and

 

for that moment,

the inner winter I’d constructed

 

out of should and shalt

fell down like bricks. Perhaps I could have

 

returned to work, but instead

stared at the soft gray

 

tufts of spring. How they defy

the stubborn chill. And almost

 

against my will, in me I felt

an opening I didn’t quite want,

 

and perhaps I didn’t want to hear

a small voice saying, you

 

have a choice, you

have a choice.

 

 

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Just this morning
the leaves were green

in this stand of aspen
that now flash gold—

it happens that fast,
though of course

there is nothing
quick about it.

It took a whole season
to grow the leaf

and nurture it into
brilliance. And

it took decades
to grow the tree that grew

the leaf. And what
of evolution? Oh patience.

Perhaps this is why
on the woman who’s finally learning

how to sit still beside the leaves
there’s a bit of salt water

sliding down her skin.

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Old Friends Tanka

You tell me
a terrible story
and I tell you mine.
Driving home, the aspen
have never been so gold.

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