Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


At the Very Beginning

When I named you I was on the verge
of a discovery, I was accumulating

data, my condition was that of a person
sitting late at night in a yellowing kitchen

over steeping tea mumbling
as his wife remotely does the laundry.

My condition was that of a mathematician
who cannot put the names to colors,

who, confusing speaking and addition,
identifies with confidence the rain

soaked broad trunked redwood tree (whose
scent releases all of winter) saying as he passes one

Credit


From This One Tree by Katie Peterson. © 2006 reprinted by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose.

Author


Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson is the author of The Accounts (University of Chicago Press, 2013). She lives in Woodland, California.

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/very-beginning