Norah Christianson

Under the Trees

I am talking about the heaviness,
the darkness of the trees,
of their green over green over green,
how they keep me under their emerald light,
as under water,
how they fold over one another in the night
like nuns in dark robes,
how they delete stars and cage the moon,
how they’re always whispering or clicking
their leather tongues,
how they keep me from the horizon,
how they hem me in,
remind me I am small,
how they never let me forget myself,
how they keep the time, clocking the seasons,
filling me with urgency,
how they hold birds in their hair whose song is
my constant conscience,
how I can never feel the stillness because
their branches are swishing like a switch
holding me to my work,
how they are as beautiful and austere as
brides in their veils.
I am talking about how
the trees have spirits and they sing my name.
How I must answer.

Copyright 1997, Norah Christianson

Norah Christianson’s poetry has appeared in such magazines as The Spoon River Poetry Review, Press, The Kansas Quarterly, and San Jose Studies. She is editor of the Connecticut River Review, a national journal of poetry, and works as a secretary for a janitorial service in Bridgeport, CT.

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