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Planting a Small Tree





Planting a Small Tree

(for Bonnie Towe)

And another fine October comes whispering
golden mysteries against our doors.
The kettle boils, the window steams,
the pot of hot tea steeps.

A windy Saturday morning in my latter years
I plant a small scarlet sapling—a Sourwood—
into its rooted home, dark nourishing rooms
hidden beneath the land.

Water it in, watch it stand, trembling
on the spinning earth, under
the sun-running clouds, fast shadows woven
from the wide looms of autumn wind.

Listen: the little red leaves, curved open
like lips wanting to speak, 
yet ready
to go quiet now, to let go

the thin grey skeleton of stems,
whispering blood-stained secrets
of beauty and wisdom, spinning down
the long October wind.

It will stand here, unknown seasons,
decades, deepening into earth
rising into sky,
new leaves unfurling,
graceful white fingers of flowers, falling
like petals of snow:  the years emerge
like hope, they flicker down around us,
October’s scarlet leaves.




One response

  1. Bonnie Towe

    Planting a Tree…How beautiful!….Thank you, my sweet son…..I love you, Mother

    October 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

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