Linda Pastan

1932 - / New York / United States

Vertical

Perhaps the purpose of leaves is to conceal
the verticality of trees which we notice in December
as if for the first time: row after row of dark forms
yearning upwards. And since we will be horizontal
ourselves for so long, let us now honor
the gods of the vertical: stalks of wheat which
to the ant must seem as high as these trees do to us,
silos and telephone poles, stalagmites and skyscrapers.
but most of all these winter oaks, these soft-fleshed poplars,
this birch whose bark is like roughened skin against
which I lean my chilled head, not ready to lie down.
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