Trees and the Windflaw by John Gardner


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An unfamiliar, lush seclusion of tempted trees
stand far and away from the world commonly known.
There is an abundance of many kind,
mostly giant ferns
supporting leaves the length of adults,
living far longer than most
and weeping willows
standing tall, old and pendulous.

Their greens seem greener than most.
The youngest are likely to be,
Like their Kettle Morraine host,
on the far side of centuries.
Prevailing winds
known to force their own itinerary
appear to have been the only visitor;
a little sun and much rain notwithstanding.

It all appears a vague reality
and disturbingly appealing.
One of us, this oasis or myself,
belong in some other time and place.
Just as well, or not, it seems
Part of a quiet, living delirium.

Trees do not grow where nothing lives or gives.
They, and solitary people have no birthday parties.
Nonetheless, both can live long, definitive lives.
The lonely and trees have time and the will
To find and smell life’s roses.
Loneliness
never should outlive trees or the lonely.

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