Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why Willows Weep

The rain is back. The sky is grey and heavy.
Brown water rises at the Esplanade.
Styrofoam peanuts swirl behind the levee,
flood-wrack settling where summer walked dry-shod.

Sad silhouettes, the naked willows nod
over their heaps of fallen, rain-soaked leaves
gold rotting to brown. Tell me, God
what did the willows do, to be bereaved?

To laugh in spring; when autumn comes, to grieve,
to rake with fleshless twigs the unyielding earth—
then sleep the winter, warm in their belief
that spring will come again and bring new birth.

I laid my hand against the willow tree.
It whispered to me: “Child, I weep for thee.”

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