Thirteen Springs

Marilyn Buck

                              [This poem is read by Maria Poblet speaker icon]

had you planted a tree
to fill in the deep well
of my absence
that tree would be
thirteen springs high
high enough to relieve
the relentless sun of incarceration
strong enough to bear
the weight of children
who might have been born
had I not been seized
from your life and plunged
into this acid-washed crypt
of perpetual loss
and high-wired vigilance

but there is no tree
that stands in my place
to harbor birds and changing winds
perhaps someone will plant
a willow a eucalyptus
or even a redwood
any tree that will
in thirteen years more
bear fruit and provide shelter

This poem appears in Syracuse Peace Letters,
Sojourner, States of Confinement,
Rescue the Word,
and Inside/Out.

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