Today's poem is by Cynthia Wyatt

On Whether or Not to Prune the Nandina

Perhaps not. Left alone,
the berries will dry up, fall off,
be eaten by some of these jays
who test the buoyant branches,
set trembling the heavy sprays
of brilliant red beads
before flitting to the feeder.

That's the plan, I understand,
to leave what's beautiful alone
and let it perish on its own terms.
Difficult, but a contract, after all,
with spin and rotation, velocity and arc.
The astronauts saw this place from a distance,
spoke at once of oneness and brotherhood,
then returned, whispering of the enlarged sun,
the obsolete feat of breathing,
the penurious flavor of dust,

the refining of beauty down
to its own first speck
in the fraught darkness.

Copyright © 2002 Cynthia Wyatt All rights reserved
from Shenandoah, Winter 2001
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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