— After Peter Taylor
Why should the trees that line the tiresome,
familiar street surprise you, walking through
the neighborhood? It’s March. The sour gum
is bare. What made you think it’d break into
a fit of scarlet leaves? A maple split
the pavement once when you were still a kid.
You tripped over the jagged edge and bit
your tender tongue. You hadn’t tasted blood
till then. But now, you’re out for shaving cream,
having cut yourself a hundred times.
You left your sons asleep. In last night’s dream,
you were a boy again, back when the pines
dropped cones for you alone, when mysteries
of every kind were manifest in trees.