Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Baltimore

First Lesson: Winter Trees (excerpt)

Michael Waters

These winter trees charcoaled against bare sky,
     a few quick strokes on the papery
            blankness, mean to suggest the mind
      leaping into paper, into sky, not bound
by the body's strict borders. The correspondence
      school instructor writes: The ancient
            masters loved to brush the trees
      in autumn, their blossoms fallen
.
I've never desired the trees' generous
      flowering, but prefer this austere
            beauty, the few branches nodding
      like…like hair swept over a sleeping
lover's mouth, I almost thought too fast.
 
* * *
"First Lesson: Winter Trees" (excerpt) from Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum by Michael Waters. Copyright © 1997 by Michael Waters. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.
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