Nine Ways of Seeing a Tree

(after Wallace Stevens)

Among hills and roads on the way home,
there is a tree that cradles the sun
as it takes its place each morning.

I feel my thoughts sway
like the branches of the tree,
to and fro, this way and that.

The tree is steadfast
in its role of observer and keeper of roots.

It is hard to see movement of days
standing alongside a tree,
except the way the leaves move
as wind turns from the sun.

I know some given names of trees
but most I do not know
and I know it does not matter
what we call ourselves because we are One.

When the tree bent before the wind,
I learned humility
and forgot my pride.

As the leaves reached beyond branches,
the trunk of the tree swelled
with excitement at discovery.

The tree is shifting.
We must be shifting too.

It was a quiet wood
in the middle of unnamed places
in the middle of the city
in the middle of my daydreams.
And it was blessedly quiet inside the tree.

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