The Bride Tree Can't Be Read
The bride tree puts down its roots below the phyla. It is there when we die & when we are born, middle & upper branches reaching the planet heart by the billions during a revolution we don’t see. Quarks & leptons are cooling on their infant stems, spinning the spinning brain of matter, fled to electrical dark water, species with names the tree can hold in the shale shade brought by the ambulance of art; no one but you knows what occurred in the dress you wore in the dream of atonement, the displaced tree in the dream you wore, a suffering endurable only once, edges that sought release from envy to a more endurable loss, a form to be walked past, that has outworn the shame of time, its colors sprung through description above a blaze of rhizomes spreading in an arable mat that mostly isn't simple but is calm & free—
About this Poem
"A few months ago, I ran past a flowering plum tree in Berkeley, at its height of its flowering; I had been speaking with a friend about the economic doom that is happening-- no matter what they say about 'economic recovery'-- and about a struggle she was having in a relationship. I started thinking about 'between' zones in everything: between perceptions, between sound and sense, between ease & fear, between landscape & dreamscape. I like images in poetry that can apply simultaneously to things like plants and soil and to an invisible spirit world and to linguistic constructs. The horrors of an economy that serves so few and the friend's woes were in my mind when I wrote the first two stanzas, but there was a shift during the writing. In forms of life other than human, there is a vitality that isn't trapped in the sorrow. There may be an arable mat that is beyond our ability to harm it, or a collective unconscious. What would ease my friend's pain? The passage of time, or simply remembering a moment of undemanding beauty. A dress you wore, even if you no longer own that dress."
Date Published: 2013-10-28
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/bride-tree-cant-be-read