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The Tree that Stayed by Jane Burn

My roots delve where sun does not go and mulch-voiced worms probe.
Rubber-slick and mucky nosed, they eat between my buried threads.
I take my time to grow and the taste of soil is good. These many years

I have learned much from this same patch of sky. My study has been
the infinite tones of blue, of grey—of scarlet sunsets, pink dawns.
I have contemplated night and what each spell of darkness means.

I wear the joy of birds upon my head. Their tittle-tattle thrills my leaves,
each one an ear, living-green and eager for the wonder of their song.
I hold their heartbeats gently, as clouds are carried upon the film

of a lulled pond. When they lift from my arms I wish them everything.
Autumn ends and cold takes my crown—each leaf lies at my foot,
nourishes my naked self. This is my time of great sleep, of needed rest.

I have taken the atmosphere of man, returned it refreshed. My form,
thrown against the dusk is balm. A poet’s ideals are birthed in the scratches
I leave upon the sky. It seems I am sunk into bleakness, yet spring comes

and I sprout new buds. Show you a way to re-live.