Apr/May 2008 Poetry Special Feature

The maples are all widows now

by Christine Potter

The maples are all widows now

and accustomed to it. They nod
in slower wind than was predicted,
gather only darkness and daylight,

a few birds whose feathers match
the world in which they’ve landed:
gray, but also a stippled brown,

even black. See how emptiness
turns out to be a relief? You weren’t
born to hold a thousand green tongues

that whisper like money. Certainly,
you never spoke that language. Here
there are no collections of the rare

or common, just this sweet calm,
this room without curtains or furniture,
so many trees without leaves,

so many hills of them—
outside a newly-washed window
thrown wide open to the cold.


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