On Looking for Models

The trees in time
have something else to do
besides their treeing. What is it. 
I'm a starving to death
man myself, and thirsty, thirsty
by their fountains but I cannot drink 
their mud and sunlight to be whole. 
I do not understand these presences 
that drink for months
in the dirt, eat light, 
and then fast dry in the cold. 
They stand it out somehow, 
and how, the Botanists will tell me. 
It is the "something else" that bothers 
me, so I often go back to the forests.

From New and Collected Poems 1961-1983 by Alan Dugan, published by the Ecco Press. Copyright © 1983 by Alan Dugan. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.