Today's poem is by David Swerdlow

The Last Hill and the Wild Trees


It is easy to forget
the pine trees, and not unforgivable.

Forsythia opens its hand
to the sun, obscure

under the drooped needles
of the pines' catacomb

where shafts of light pass
over a crow

impervious to beauty.
Still the light trembling limbs,

the light trembling limbs.


Sky drenched
with honeysuckle, it is impossible

to be alone or still as the dusk quiets
the treetops and random voices,
someone's name

called home. Syllables
ring and relax and fall where

sweet orange
with the present air almost
pauses on your arm but whirls
without desire everywhere.

Across the street
in the trees
on the wire
mourning doves sing the evening's clean

linen on the line,
white moon,

the sad hum of us all
in a perfectly blue sky.


What danger is there in drifting
on Rockhold Creek,

boats strung out in the harbor lights like clouds
covering a hundred moons?
We love the water

expanding into its calm,
always collapsing
beautifully after its own torment.

The last hill and the wild trees
to the backlit water before evening settles

and every time we come over this hill
to the water I apologize

for the small self I have been.

Copyright © 2003 David Swerdlow All rights reserved
from Small Holes in the Universe
WordTech Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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