Today's poem is by Jody Bolz

[Two centuries to keep a maple]

Two centuries to keep a maple
three hands high.
The Japanese are patient people.
You might have mastered me,

kept me from jungling up
the world—beguiled me,
held my heart still
in one small garden.

Another stratagem:
summer kimono with landscape,
ten embroidered deer,
wisteria and pines.

Not a cloud in the lake,
no guesthouse.
You stopped by
to see the grounds.

How could I rake the paths
each week and cut back branches,
over-tending children
we didn't have?

Birdsongs in our room,
a record,
weren't the woods—
not even an aviary.

You got giddy on them anyway,
imagined they were real,
the bonsai was a wild tree,
tiny dish its island, yard its sea—

all your art, your life,
and your love safe.

Copyright © 2014 Jody Bolz All rights reserved
from Shadow Play
Turning Point Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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