Helen Wickes


Secret Lives of Trees

January afternoon, the wind puts its nose on its paws,
sun shining gamely through a sky the blue
of purest gold—seven geese nosing the pond’s edge,

post and rail fences guarding their meadows. Have you
noticed how bare trees truly become themselves in winter;

they have secret lives, they hold up their secrets, their skeletal,
irrefutable beauty shows up, breathing the past
down our necks, silver puffs in the air. These trees.

No reason to go to town today, our hours and years
contracting, an immeasurable world floating away.

Helen Wickes is the author of three books of poetry: In Search of LandscapeDowser’s ApprenticeMoon over Zabriskie. In 2015 Sixteen Rivers Press, a shared-work, non-profit press, will publish her fourth collection, World as You Left it. More of her work can be found online at www.sixteenrivers.org, on her author page.

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