Sarah Corbett

3 Poems

Tree (i)

The oak tree planted at my son’s birth
stands at fifteen feet in its thirtieth year.
This early in the season, it holds its crisp
leaves tight as gifts for a lost child,

rustles in the wind like tissue paper.
I listen for its heart which sleeps on,
deep in the cool of the stone wall,
this shadowed corner of the garden

where a collapsed deer fold is pressed
with bluebells in spring. But it is not yet
spring in the northern hemisphere.
Where he is, on the other side

of the earth, summer is on the wane
and winter will soon frost the eucalyptus.
I ask the tree for an answer and it replies:
stillness, still. This is the waiting time.

A wind picks up from the hill behind
the house, a song through dry leaves.
I hold the tip-quiver of a branch
and the tree shakes down inside me.



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