The trees remember dying, each fall losing leaves, the bundled light.
The sun shines through them and rain colors the branches dark as rivers.
Swallows abandon them for warmer weather.
Barren, nothing sings to them in their warded state.
Then spring arrives and everything that once was is back again, the blooms,
the grass as though it’d never left, old hat, sky in hand, all desire.
Year after year it’s always the same. What is broken is restored.
Unaccountable deaths. Unaccountable births.
And just when I think I’m beginning to understand the circular motion of birds
and the rings of trees, the trunks split, the opening wood,
and the unhappiness I feel, the night-grief and all the days remembering
your body in the doorway how your laugh tilted the frame of your interior.
I remember the year of your dying, your footprints in the snow
like the hooves of elk and how simple your death seemed to me at the time
when I could not see clearly as when the body moves without thinking,
and could not imagine death as something wonderful.
I listened to the wind blowing through the empty trees,
remember the body’s dying as that of the tree,' the lessening, the becoming.
Each morning our bed sheets darken. Shadows of tree limbs turn in the light,
the way light in rivers turn at certain times of the day never touching bottom
and everything that once was is again, only rising, and the trees fill again with light,
then color arrives before I know it, the copper maple, the oak, the burning red leaves
of the sycamore. I hear the sound of wood, the rings split, the dusk behind you.