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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