Karen Wheatcroft

Three Poems

forest sonnet for fourteen (condemned) trees

nothing tells us      when we are there      (or when
we are not)      when to leave our soil-gods

to the warm invasion of fungus and worm      and when
(if ever) to look up and pray.        the extinct languages

of Fagus and Quercus      hang   green.      their perished camouflage
with mycelium trim       wedged between dead-mans

leaves and bark-grey documents of sky (that blur
with the wind)      are doomed       we are told.

we are told    not to feed any more ghosts through each other
the way a whole forest    moves   silence      from the hush

of one tree    to the next.      no more khaki stealth.      no needles.
no soft-emerald ooze     no sifting for divinities     allowed.

nothing tells us the xylem.     or where the first amoeba seas
(now viscous and woody with time)                    keen


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